Health Department

Stay Safe, Healthy In Heat Wave

Jul. 2

Heat Wave Will Continue: Take Steps To Remain Safe & Healthy

Cincinnati and surrounding areas are expected to remain at elevated heat levels for the duration of this week, according to the National Weather Service.

The effects of the current heat wave can cause increasing stress among populations susceptible to heat-related illness. Temperatures at this level are potentially dangerous and put individuals at risk for heat-related illness if the proper precautions are not followed.

It is important to check on elderly and individuals with illnesses that decrease their ability to respond to extreme heat (those with heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, recent stroke, diarrhea or mental illness). Infants and small children are also at greater risk to experience heat related illness. People who work outdoors, including construction workers and roofers, should be aware of the dangerously high temperatures and should drink plenty of water even when not thirsty.

Cincinnati Recreation Centers will be open during normal hours to serve as "Cool Centers" for heat relief. They will provide a cool, comfortable place to sit and rest. To locate a Cincinnati Recreation Center close to you, visit the Recreation Center webpage or call 513-352-4000. 

The Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind you that the best way to reduce risk of heat-related illness is to take preventative measures. These include:

  • Drink plenty of water, even if not thirsty.
  • Individuals on medications, include those with mental illness, should check with their doctor or pharmacist to see if the medicines put them at increased risk of heat-related illness.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages; alcohol can increase a person's risk to heat related illnesses.
  • Decrease physical activity such as yard work or exercise. Activities should occur on the morning or in the evening.  Stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Individuals with chronic health problems, such as heart disease or lung problems, should minimize activities because the heat will add additional stress.
  • Extra caution should be taken for the elderly and young infants and children to assure that they are protected from the heat.
  • Check on those who may need assistance.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose, cotton clothing.
  • Eat light meals.
  • Adjust blinds, shades and awnings to keep the sun out.
  • Children and pets should not be left unattended in closed vehicles. Temperatures quickly rise to dangerous levels.
  • Use air conditioning, or spend time in a cool basement. Many facilities such as libraries, malls, movie theaters and other public areas are air-conditioned.
  • Keep in mind fans are only effective when they are bringing in cool air. When the relative humidity is high, the evaporative cooling of sweat is diminished.

The Cincinnati Health Department monitors the weather forecast daily and issues Heat Alerts and Heat Emergencies to alert the public of potentially dangerous temperatures.

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