HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE CAUTION DURING HEAT ADVISORY
FOR THE WAUSAU TIMES
Residents reminded to stay cool, hydrated and informed during extreme heat.
Wausau, Wis. – With the National Weather Service forecasting temperatures to be in the low-to-mid 90s on Wednesday, local officials are urging residents to protect themselves from heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses are most common among the elderly or individuals who have chronic illnesses, but children, athletes and outdoor workers are also at risk.
All Marathon County Public Library branch locations are available as cooling centers –locations which allow residents without air conditioning to get relief from the extreme heat – during regularly scheduled business hours. For a list of hours and locations, please visit https://mcpl.us/about/locations/.
“We ask everyone to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, and to check on their family, friends, and neighbors who may be especially vulnerable to extreme heat,” said Laura Scudiere, Marathon County Health Officer. “Infants, young children, older adults, and people with chronic disease have a tougher time regulating their body temperature. Please help them stay cool and hydrated.”
Scudieresaid the risks associated with a heat wave include:
- Heat cramps: Including muscular pains and spasms resulting from heavy exertion. These symptoms are often the first signal that the body is suffering from excessive heat.
- Heat exhaustion: Including fainting, rash, fatigue, and nausea. Skin may become clammy and moist.
- Heat/Sun Stroke: Including hot, dry skin, the absence of sweat, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. This is a life-threatening condition.
Scudiere said that to prevent risks from excessive heat, individuals should do the following:
- Seek air-conditioning: If your home does not have air-conditioning, seek areas that do such as libraries, shopping malls, community/senior centers, grocery stores, movie theatres during the warmest period of the day. If you must stay in a home without air-conditioning, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. The various branch locations of the Marathon County Public Library are available as cooling centers during regular business hours for persons seeking a place to keep cool.
- Avoid strenuous activities: This is particularly true during the hottest time of the day. Individuals who perform strenuous work during the heat of the day are especially at risk.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose clothing: Light colors reflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors, which absorb the heat. Protect the face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Check on family members, neighbors, and friends who are vulnerable: Move them to air-conditioned places if possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Increase fluid intake even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Never leave pets or people, especially children and infants, unattended in cars during a heat wave.
If you experience any symptoms associated with heat risks, cool the body as soon as possible, and call 9-1-1 for symptoms of heat stroke.
For locations and hours of cooling centers in your area, call United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline.
For heat-related health information, call the Marathon County Health Department at 715-261-1900. For information on Marathon County Public Library cooling centers, call 715-261-7200.