Heat Relief

Linn County Public Health would like to remind residents to protect themselves against the effects of elevated summer temperatures. According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.  As temperature begin to soar to 100°F, the excessive humidity in combination with the heat may leave you dehydrated and could be life threatening.  As such it is essential that you take strides to keep you and your family safe.  See the list of Heat Relief Locations (PDF) in your area for acting during excessive heat events.

On days of extreme heat, be sure to check in on family, friends and neighbors who are at-risk of falling ill due to the heat.  No matter the circumstance, children and pets SHOULD NOT be left in vehicles unattended.  In addition, be sure that pets have free access to fresh drinking water and are kept safe from the heat.

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Prevent Heat-Related Illness

  • Spend more time indoors, if a home is not air-conditioned, spend time in public facilities that are
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty
  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
  • Wear loose, light colored clothing and sunscreen
  • Schedule outdoor activities early in the day or later in the evening
  • Limit outdoor activities and take frequent breaks to cool off
  • Eat light meals
  • Monitor people at high risk for heat-related illness, and
  • Don't forget about pets!

Individuals at Risk for Heat-Related Illness

  • Children less than 5 years of age
  • Elderly 65 years and older
  • Elderly living alone
  • Person's without air conditioning

Heat-Related Illnesses

  1. Heat Cramps
  2. Heat Exhaustion
  3. Heat Rash
  4. Heat Stroke
  5. Sunburn

Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity.  This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture.  The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps.  Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms-usually in the abdomen, arms or legs-that may occur in association with strenuous activity. 

What to Do

  • Stop all activity and sit in a cool place
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage
  • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if: 
    • They do not subside in 1 hour 
    • You have heart problems
    • You are on a low-sodium diet

Thermometer reading over 100 degrees