Idaho’s simmering summer: Keep your cool in extreme heat

eh-03-508We’ve already seen triple-digit temperatures across Idaho this summer along with emergency room visits for heat exhaustion, so it’s a good time to take note of how to avoid heat-related illness in the hottest summer months. Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. Continue reading

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Heat-related illness prevention: Stay cool as summer gets hot

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We’ve already seen triple-digit high temperatures in portions of Idaho this summer and mid-July and August are traditionally the warmest months, so it’s a good time to remember how to avoid heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, and it’s important for us all to keep as cool as possible so we can stay healthy. Continue reading

Idaho Public Health and DEQ officials: Wildfire smoke is affecting air quality throughout the state

Smoke from wildfires in Idaho and neighboring states is affecting the air quality in nearly every Idaho community in the northern and southwestern parts of the state, and officials from public health and environmental quality are reminding residents to be aware of the conditions so they can take precautions.

The strongest smoke impacts are currently occurring across the Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater, and Idaho counties, as well as in southwest Idaho and east toward Twin Falls and north toward Garden Valley and McCall. Air quality is ranging from moderate to unhealthy across these areas, and impacts are from ongoing fires burning in Oregon, Washington and California, and a multitude of local fires that started this week.

“Air quality throughout the state is changing depending on weather patterns and wildfire activity,” said Jim Vannoy, environmental health manager for the Department of Health and Welfare. “Idahoans should be aware of this and check air quality on a regular basis so they can take precautions if they are planning to be outside. We’re especially concerned about children, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions who might be more sensitive than most to the smoke in the air.”  Continue reading

Record-setting temperatures prompt a public health warning

Idaho public health officials are encouraging people to be aware and take steps to keep cool in the record-setting heat predicted around the state this weekend and into early next week.

Too much heat and too little water can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, even for otherwise healthy people. Those at the highest risk for heat-related injuries or illness are babies and children up to age 4, people 65 and older, and anyone who is overweight, sick or on certain medications. But everyone should take precautions to stay as cool as possible and modify time spent outdoors in extreme heat. SunHeat

“It’s important to plan your outdoor physical activities for the mornings, when it’s cooler,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, state health officer and administrator for the Division of Public Health. “Try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and drink plenty of fluids. Also, be sure to check on neighbors who are elderly or disabled and might need help in extreme heat.”

Advanced age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation and even sunburn also can hinder the body’s ability to cool down in extreme temperatures. Continue reading