Polk County Health Department issued a warning to residents regarding the heat today. Temperatures may reach a record high near 100 degrees today. However the low dew point and high wind may make it feel cooler than the actual air temperature, which will increase the risk of dehydration. The Polk County Health Department reminds you to watch kids closely during recess and after school activities and to use caution when attending outdoor sports and events. Drink more water than usual throughout the day, do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water, limit caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and minimize physical activity outdoors from noon to sunset, if you can.
"With the start of school many of us feel like fall has arrived but today's temperatures can quickly cause dehydration and heat-related illness, especially in kids who are participating in or attending outdoor after school activities," said Rick Kozin, Polk County Health Department Director.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include feeling faint, body aches, stomach pain, nausea, elevated body temperature, shock, unconsciousness, seizures, heavy sweating or dry red skin. If you see someone with any of these symptoms get them in a cool place and call for medical help.
"If you are participating in a daytime outdoor sporting event, be sure to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks to the shade or air conditioning, and watch closely for symptoms of heat related illness. It is also important to check on others who do not have air conditioning twice a day and never leave kids or pets in the car alone," said Kozin.
For more information and a list of daytime cooling centers visit www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health.