The heat is on: Do you know the dangers of heat illness?

ROSEBURG, Ore. - The average high temperature ithis time of year is 84 degrees.

But it's not going to be that cool again until at least Saturday - and some parts of the Umpqua Valley could hit triple digits.

County health officials say there are important things to remember to help prevent heat-related illness.

"You need to remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water," said Dawnells Marshall, public health director for Douglas County. "When it's really hot, it's better to drink water than those beverages that contain a lot of caffeine. And it's not just adults, but young children and some of our seniors that might not have the most stable electrolyte systems in their body."

Marshall said if you have nausea, a rapid heart rate or seizures, contact emergency medical professionals: those are are all symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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Forecasters encourage the elderly and others susceptible to heat illness to watch weather forecasts as temperatures heat up this week and weekend

Symptoms of Heat-Induced Ailments

Dehydration - thirst, less frequent urination

Prickly heat bumps - irritating skin rash

Cramps - painful muscle contractions

Edema - swelling of hands and feet

Exhaustion / Fatigue - characterized by clammy skin, paleness, dizziness, nausea, fever, and headache

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Seek immediate medical help if you or someone else develops the following symptoms. Heat Stroke is the most severe heat illness and is a life-threatening situation.

Lethargy, sluggishness

Rapid heart rate and breathing

Confusion, disorientation, agitation, irritability

High body temperature

Intense muscle aches, fever, diarrhea or nausea

Convulsing, fainting, seizure, loss of consciousness


Caring for a Heat Stroke Victim Until Help Arrives

While you are waiting for help to arrive you can assist the person by doing the following:

Get the person out of the heat to a cooler environment. Take them indoors if possible.

Fan the person with a newspaper or towel to cool the body.

Loosen or remove clothing and sprinkle the skin lightly with water.

Elevate feet to direct blood flow back toward the head.

If available, apply icepacks to the groin area or armpits.

Risk of Heat Related Illness

Some people are at greater risk than others to suffer heat-related illness:

Infants and young children

People aged 65 and older

Those persons who are physically ill, or have heart disease or high blood pressure

Those persons who must work in / wear protective equipment: helmets, respirators, heavy clothing

How to Beat the Heat - The Do's and Don'ts:


Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries

Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air

Take a cool bath or shower

Minimize direct exposure to the sun

Stay hydrated - regularly drink water or other nonalcoholic fluids

Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads

Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes

Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat

Limit exercise to moderate activity and rest whenever necessary

Exercise during cooler periods of the day such as the early morning or late evening hours

Consult your health care provider or pharmacist to see which medicines are affected by excessive heat conditions

Know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.


Direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90f

Leave children, the elderly or pets alone in cars for any amount of time

Drink alcohol, or drinks that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar to try to stay cool

Eat heavy, hot, or hard-to-digest foods

Wear heavy, dark clothing

Exert yourself excessively