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Published August 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

State Department Offers Hot Weather Safety Tips

BISMARCK, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Because of extremely high temperatures across North Dakota this week, the state health department is urging everyone to take precautions to protect their health, according to Dr. Terry Dwelle, state health officer for the North Dakota Department of Health.

By: Warren Abrahamson (NewsDakota.com), Warren Abrahamson (NewsDakota.com)

BISMARCK, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Because of extremely high temperatures across North Dakota this week, the state health department is urging everyone to take precautions to protect their health, according to Dr. Terry Dwelle, state health officer for the North Dakota Department of Health.

“High temperatures for a prolonged period of time like we are experiencing can be dangerous,” said Dr. Dwelle. “Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but some people are at a higher risk, especially infants and children to age 4, people 65 and older, people who are overweight and those who have health conditions or take certain medications. In addition, those who exert themselves during work or exercise need to make sure they don’t become dehydrated.”

Tips for staying safe include:

- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, as they can cause you to lose more body fluid. The best thing to drink is water.

- Protect yourself. Wear glasses, sunscreen, sit in shade, stay in an air-conditioned or cool place.

Heat stroke is a serious, life-threatening illness that occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. In heat stroke, the body’s temperature rises rapidly, and the body stops sweating and cannot cool down. Warning signs vary but can include:

- An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit)

- Red, hot and dry skin

- Rapid strong pulse

- Throbbing headache

- Dizziness

- Nausea

- Confusion

- Unconsciousness

If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately and then try to move to a cool place and cool down using water or whatever method you can.

For more information, contact Dr. John Baird or Dr. Terry Dwelle, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701-328-2372.

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