Heat wave brings dangerous conditions

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
The Dayton area is heading into it first extreme heat wave this year as the heat index is expected to reach more than 100 degrees.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The region is heading into it first extreme heat wave this year as the heat index is expected to reach more than 100 degrees.

>> Cooling center announced ahead of extreme heat in region

Temperatures in the mid-90s are expected today with an excessive heat warning in effect through 8 p.m. Saturday.

“When temperatures are into the 90s and you factor in heat and humidity, that’s when we can see heat index values up into the hundreds,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Molly Coates said. “It is going to be very important to take heat precaution.”

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The average temperature for this time of the year is in the mid-80s around 84 degrees, Coates said.

Health officials are warning people, especially seniors and those with health conditions, to stay indoors in a cool area or drink a lot of fluids while outside to avoid heat exhaustion.

“Heat exhaustion can give people headaches, dizziness, they stop urinating or their urine turns dark yellow. They are normally excessively sweating,” said Dr. Jeremy Moore of Miami Valley Hospital. “A step further from heat exhaustion would be a heat stroke, which is when people have altered mental status and they stop sweating. If you see someone with these symptoms, they need medical attention as soon as possible.”

RELATED: Cooling centers announced due to Miami Valley heat watch

During these extreme weather conditions, health officials recommended people cut out caffeinated or sugary drinks and alcohol because they are dehydrating. High-sodium foods also should be avoided.

Those who need a cool place to escape the heat can go to cooling centers set up throughout the region.

The Washington Twp. Recreation Center is one designated cooling center, open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. today; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. During those times, the public may access common areas at the facility, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road to escape the heat, recharge cellphones or use bathrooms, according to the center’s Facebook page.

“You never know who may be affected if air conditioning goes out so this allows those people to have a place to walk in and cool off,” said Mark Metzger, facilities director of the Washington Twp. Recreation Center.

People who work outside should wear lighter clothing and constantly stay hydrated with water or drinks that contain electrolytes, Moore said.

“Usually the extreme ends of the ages, less than 4 and older than 65 are more likely to suffer from these heat-related issues. It’s very important to check on your elderly neighbors as much as possible, especially if they don’t have air conditioning,” Moore said.

MORE: Excessive Heat Watch Issued: What you need to know about heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Pet owners also need to take precautions to ensure that their animals stay healthy and hydrated, according to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

Making sure pets have plenty of drinking water, keeping them in the shade as much as possible, avoiding high noon when taking them outside, never leaving them alone in the car in extreme heat, keeping home temperatures around 70 to 75 degrees and knowing the symptoms for heat stroke in animals are important for pet owners to keep in mind, according to the humane society.

Heat stroke symptoms include panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, a rapid pulse, bright red gums or a blue tongue or lips. If a pet may have heat stroke, act immediately by putting them in a cool place and lowering their body temperature with cool, not icy water, humane society leaders said.

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What to do when it’s hot

• Stay in air-conditioned buildings.

• Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device, use air conditioning if available.

• Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.

• Children and pets should not be left unattended in closed vehicles. Temperatures can reach dangerous levels rapidly.

• Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

• Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.

If experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms: 

• Move to a cooler location.

• Lie down and loosen your clothing.

• Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.

• Sip water.

• If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately

If experiencing heat stroke symptoms:

• Call 911 immediately- this is a medical emergency

• Move the person to a cooler environment

• Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath

• Do NOT give fluids

Weather forecast

Friday: 94 degrees

Saturday: 94 degrees, excessive heat watch ends at 8 p.m.

Sunday: 92 degrees, few storms