What to do on hot days - coping with the heat

Saturday, July 6, 2024

The King County region has a heat advisory through Tuesday. 

Temperatures are expected to reach the low 90a locally. (see WeatherWatcher report)

Stay cool and out of the heat by going to an open library, community center, or other publicly accessible facility (such as the mall, movies, or public pool/splash pad). Stay hydrated.

Who is at higher risk
If you are in one of these groups, take extra precautions to stay cool, drink water, and take breaks from the heat:
  • Older adults (65 and older)
  • Young children
  • People with chronic health conditions or mental illness
  • Athletes who exercise outdoors
  • Outdoor workers
  • People living unsheltered or homeless
  • Medications and health conditions can make you more sensitive to heat, including those for allergies and colds, thyroid, depression, heart/blood pressure, and weight loss. Check with your doctor about your health conditions and medications.

Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors

Stay cool
Spend time in air-conditioned buildings (such as malls, movie theaters, or libraries) if you can and avoid direct contact with the sun.

Go to local cooling centers

Reduce physical activity and move to shaded areas
Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning or evening hours.

Cool your body down quickly by wearing a wet scarf, bandana, or shirt.
Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can be dehydrating.

No infants, children and pets in parked cars

Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open. It only takes a few minutes for severe medical problems and even death to occur.

Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Seek medical care immediately if you know someone who experiences symptoms.

Recognizing heat exhaustion and heat stroke
When people's bodies can't cool themselves quickly enough it can cause heat exhaustion. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting. 

If you see someone with signs of overheating, move the person to a cooler location, have them rest for a few minutes and then slowly drink a cool beverage. 

Get medical attention for them immediately if they do not feel better.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability unless treated immediately. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Nausea, confusion and unconsciousness

Outdoor Workers
As a summer heat wave approaches, Washington is one of just five states with established workplace heat safety standards. Washington’s rules require employers to give frequent breaks and access to shade and water to outdoor workers once temperatures reach 80 degrees. As temperatures rise to 90 or 100 degrees, workers are entitled to additional protections. Employers can learn more at Lni.wa.gov/HeatSmart.

Some employers, like Recology, are starting shifts earlier so workers can finish before the late afternoon heat.

Metro riders
King County Metro riders can find heat-related information and how to stay cool and safe on Metro during the heat.

Other resources


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