Protect yourself, your children and your pets as temperatures rise across North Carolina.
If you're out in the heat too long, it can lead to dehydration, overheating, heat illness and even death.
Reduce your risk with these tips:
- Increase your fluid intake.
- Take frequent breaks in cool and shady or air-conditioned spaces.
- Reduce your normal activity levels.
- Talk to a healthcare provider if you take medicines that make you more vulnerable to heat. These medicines include tranquilizers or drugs for:
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Mental illness
- Check on neighbors. If you're working outdoors, check on your co-workers.
- Never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a car can quickly reach a deadly level. Each year in the U.S., around 38 children ages 14 and younger die from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
- Pay attention to the weather forecast. This is especially important if you plan to work outside or take part in outdoor activities.
Signs of Heat-Related Illness and What to Do
Stay wary of signs of heat-related illness:
- Muscle cramps
People who are most vulnerable include:
- Adults ages 65 and older
- People without access to air conditioning
- Outdoor workers
- People chronic health conditions
If you or someone you know experiences heat-related illness:
- Move to a cool place
- Drink water
- Place cold cloths on the body
- Seek medical attention
This Summer in North Carolina
As of June 17, 2023, there were already 361 emergency department visits for heat-related illness. These visits often increase with spikes in the heat index.
Most of these visits were in the Piedmont and Coastal regions. Many of the patients were men, ages 25 to 44, according to the North Carolina Heat Report.
Cooling Assistance for Eligible North Carolinians
Are you experiencing a cooling-related crisis? You may be eligible for cooling assistance:
- Crisis Intervention Program
- Federally funded; helps individuals and families.
- Check eligibility and apply by contacting your local Department of Social Services.
- Operation Fan Heat Relief
- Summer program for older adults and adults with disabilities. The program runs through Oct. 31, 2023.
- For more information, call your local Area Agency on Aging.
Related Press Release: NCDHHS Advises Caution During Hot Summer Months to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses