Record-setting heat returns

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

According to the weather experts, June was the hottest month ever locally…at least during the 100-plus years that such records have been recorded.

With an average (all hours) temperature of 80.7 degrees, June 2010 beat out June 1943 (an average temp of 79.9 degrees) for the hottest on record. The recent heat wave saw several consecutive days where the temperature hit the upper 90’s and low 100’s locally.

Making matters worse is the fact that June is traditionally the start of even hotter months to come. Now that the calendar has rolled over to July, the weather will heat-up again….forecasters are calling for temps in the upper 90’s to over 100 degrees this week.

With that in mind, local health experts are stressing the need for the general public to be aware that the high heat can lead to health-related problems.

The Hertford County Public Health Authority (HCPHA) reports that from June 11 through June 28, data from NC DETECT (Emergency Departments Visits) indicated that approximately 319 people had sought medical treatment for a heat-related illness. Currently the majority of the heat-related ED visits are among young and middle aged adults. Most of these persons were exposed to heat while playing or working outside. Many jobs that require exposure to outside temperatures have the potential to place people at increased risk. A few simple measures can help reduce this potential.

To avoid heat-related illness on hot days:

Drink plenty of water or fruit and vegetable juices. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.

Limit your time outdoors, especially in the afternoon when the day is hottest.

Be careful about exercising or doing a lot of activities when it is hot. Stay out of the sun, take frequent breaks, drink water or juice often, and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Dress for the weather. Loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothes are cooler than dark colors or some synthetics.

If you live in a home without fans or air conditioning, open windows to allow air flow, and keep shades, blinds or curtains drawn in the hottest part of the day or when the windows are in direct sunlight. Try to spend at least part of the day in an air conditioned place like a store, the library, a friend’s house, or the movies. Cool showers can help, too. Do not use a fan when the air temperature is above 95 degrees -– it will blow hot air, which can add to heat stress.

Never leave a child or a disabled or elderly person or a pet in an unattended car, even with the windows down. A closed vehicle can heat up to dangerous levels in as little as ten minutes.

For additional information on heat related health risks visit our website at