Tips for Staying Cool, Healthy as Temperatures Near Triple Digits This Week

If you ever had that fantasy of cracking an egg on the sidewalk and watching it sizzle to perfection, this week may be your chance to make that a reality.

Today, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia areas. This outlook applies to the coming days as well. In the next few days, the mercury will be way up on the thermometer — even nearing the triple-digit zone.

While your instinct may be to throw some “floaties” in the pool and stock up on bottles of rosé for the fridge, you may want to keep an eye out for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

According to the National Weather Service, symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, sweating excessively, cool, pale or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, a rapid, weak pulse, and muscle cramps. It is recommended that anyone experiencing those symptoms should go indoors to a cool place, drink water, and take cool showers or use cold compresses.

Signs of heat stroke include throbbing headaches; the absence of sweating; a body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; a rapid, strong pulse; and the potential to lose consciousness. Should a person encounter this scenario, they must call 911 immediately.

For those who do not have air conditioning in their house, Fairfax County recommends going to the movies, visiting shopping centers or going to one of the county’s designated cooling centers — including Reston Regional Library and the Southgate Community Center.

The county also recommends that citizens:

  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen every three to four hours.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.

Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization in Reston, offers short-term emergency financial assistance to people who need help with their cooling bills.

So, keep cool and carry on.

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