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The original item was published from 7/20/2016 9:48:46 AM to 7/22/2016 8:05:02 PM.

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Posted on: July 20, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Cooling Center Set up in Grinnell

Grinnell Regional Medial Center News Release July 20, 2016

To help you beat the heat, a cooling center will be available at Grinnell Regional Medical Center's cafeteria, starting on Wednesday, July 20, until Friday, July 22, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cooling center provides a refreshing environment to those who might not have air conditioning in their homes or needing a respite from the heat.

Grinnell Regional Public Health advises individuals to take precautions to avoid lengthy exposure to the heat. Temperatures this week are predicted to reach a high of 99 degrees on Thursday. The heat index, predicted to be between 105 and 115 degrees, assigns a number or degree measurement to define discomfort resulting from the collective effects of the temperature and humidity.

If you do go outdoors, please try to abide by the safety tips outlined below to stay cooler.

  • Drink plenty of fluids and replace salt and minerals. Drinking something like Gatorade can help you do both at once!
  • Pace yourself - work slowly if you are participating in an outdoor activity.
  • Use a buddy system - watch others for signs of heat-induced illness, as sufferers can become confused or lose consciousness.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, and sunscreen.
  • Do not leave children or animals unattended in cars.

To know what to watch out for, here are some signs of heat related illnesses:

Sunburn can be treated with moisturizing lotion, cold compresses, or cool water. Lavender oil, which can be purchased at Postels Community Health Park, has calming properties that can soothe sunburns. Severe sunburns, or sunburns on small children, may require medical attention.

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms caused by salt and fluid loss, and should be treated by stopping all activities for a few hours and hydrating. If symptoms do not resolve in one hour, seek medical attention.

Heat exhaustion can cause heavy sweating, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and pale skin. It should be treated by changing into lightweight clothing; taking a cool shower; drinking a cool, hydrating beverage; and ceasing all activity. If symptoms do not resolve after an hour, or the person has heart or blood pressure issues, seek medical attention.

Heat stroke is what happens when heat exhaustion is left unattended. Characterized by high body temperature; red, hot, and dry skin; rapid pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness. If a person is experiencing heat stroke, they should seek medical attention immediately.

For more information contact Grinnell Regional Public Health at 641-236-2585.

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