Temps climb to dangerous heights

Published 7:11 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

“Hot” is an understatement.

The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for Beaufort County on Thursday and Friday, and the advisories will likely continue this weekend.

Temperatures soared into the low- to mid-90s this past week, and while that can be manageable, it’s the heat index that poses the most concern.

Heat index is what the temperature actually feels like with humidity. On Thursday and Friday, the index rose to at least 105 degrees each day.

Beaufort County Health Department offers the following tips to stay safe in the heat:

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible, even if that means going to a shopping mall or public library. Taking a cool shower is another way to cool off.
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours, when temperatures are cooler. Rest often in shady areas.
  • Cut down on exercise or other strenuous activities during the heat. If exertion leads to heart pounding, gasping for breath or lightheadedness, move into a cool area immediately.
  • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool down and can lead to dehydration.
  • Do not leave children or pets in the car in any situation. Cracking the windows does not eliminate risk. Be mindful to not overlook a sleeping child when leaving the car.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals, which add heat to the body.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, and stay away from sugary or alcoholic drinks. Keep pets hydrated, as well.
  • Monitor children and elderly people, as well as those who are overweight or ill with cardiovascular problems.

If residents experience signs of heat-related illness, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, quickening pulse, feelings of confusion or passing out, they are encouraged to call 911 immediately.

Humidity is forecasted to remain in the 70- to 80-percent range through the weekend, but temperatures will cool off slightly to the mid-80s by Sunday. Chances of scattered thunderstorms are also expected to hover around 60 percent through early next week.