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City of Lincoln - Lancaster County
Health Department

Judith A. Halstead, MS, Health Director
3140 N St, Lincoln, NE 68510

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2011 News Releases

July 15, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mike Heyl, 402-441-3889
Julie Anderson, 402-441-8071

Heat Advisory Alert

The extended forecast for temperatures to reach into the upper ninety degree range has placed the City of Lincoln into a hot weather alert. These temperatures, combined with extremely high relative humidity levels, will make work and play outside dangerous and possibly life-threatening for young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses such as respiratory disease and heart conditions.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department encourages everyone to become familiar with the signs of heat-related illness and to practice preventive measures to reduce their chance for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

People suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature rises and precautions are not taken to prevent it, said Mike Heyl, a Health Educator with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. With so many outdoor activities taking place during this heat advisory, basic preventive measures should be followed. These measures include:

Sweating is the body's natural mechanism to control body temperature. Under some conditions, sweating is not enough to cool the body, causing a person's body temperature to rise rapidly, says Judy Halstead, Health Director. Both air temperature and humidity affect the body's ability to cool itself during hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, thus preventing the body from releasing heat efficiently, Halstead added.

Symptoms of heat stress include clammy, sweaty skin, light-headedness, weakness, and nausea. Victims of heat exhaustion should be treated by moving them to a cooler area and by removing restrictive clothing. If conscious, individuals with heat exhaustion can be given cold water to drink. Salt tablets, unless under a doctor's orders, should be avoided. Plenty of rest will help the victim.

Heat Stroke is a more serious condition and should be treated as a medical emergency. Symptoms include hot skin, body temperatures above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, rapid breathing and pulse, incoherent behavior, mental confusion, convulsions, or unconsciousness. Victims of heat stroke need to be moved to a cool place and medical assistance must be summoned immediately.

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