This news item expired on Friday, September 22, 2023 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
The region has been experiencing high temperatures, and as the heat continues, it is important to be informed and take the right precautions when caring for yourself and others during hot days.
In instances where your body is not able to cool itself down, these high temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat-related illnesses can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs and even lead to death.
Most people know that older adults and young kids are at a higher risk of having a heat-related illness, but even young, healthy people can be affected if they exercise too hard in hot weather.
Additionally, people who use certain prescriptions such as heart and blood pressure medications as well as people with mental health and substance use disorder have a higher risk of developing heat-related illness.
Who is at higher risk?
- Older Adults – they don’t adjust to temperature changes as well as younger people.
- Infants, children, and pets – they rely on others to keep them cool and should never be left unattended in a vehicle.
- People with chronic medical conditions – conditions like heart disease, mental illness, poor blood circulation, and obesity are risk factors.
- People in low-income homes with no air conditioning.
- Outdoor athletes and workers
- Pregnant people – their bodies work harder to cool down.
Prevent Heat-Related Illness by:
- Keeping Cool
- Wearing lightweight clothing, hats, and sunscreen/
- Staying indoors and limit outdoor activity.
- Reducing outdoor exercise in the heat.
- Not leaving kids or pets in cars.
- Avoiding hot and heavy meals.
- Staying Hydrated
- Drink lots of water and low-sugar sports drink.
- Being Informed
- Check weather apps and the news for heat alerts.
- Know the symptoms (see below) of heat-related illnesses.
- Check in with those at higher risk.
- Speak with your doctor about how to stay safe if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat, such as tranquilizers or drugs for high blood pressure, migraines, allergies, muscle spasms, mental health, and more.
Heat-related Illness Symptoms
- ABCCM Crisis Ministry provides window A/C units and box fans to Buncombe County residents who need some relief from the hot temperatures.
- Let your kids take a break from outdoor playgrounds during hot days and visit a Buncombe County Public Library which has a calendar filled with a variety of events.
- If you visit one of our Buncombe County Pools to cool off, you should still wear sunscreen, hydrate, and spend time in the shade.