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Columbia River Fire & Rescue has some tips on how to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke during these hot days.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - Columbia River Fire & Rescue on hand in case of heat-related medical emergency. This week's heat wave in the Pacific Northwest is not going to rival the unprecedented hot air blast that brought 116 degrees to neighboring Portland last June.

But temperatures at or near 100 degrees will bake Columbia County and vicinity through the week, and perhaps a few days beyond.

That's hot enough to produce heat exhaustion or the more serious heatstroke if you don't take proper precautions.

The Spotlight reached out to Columbia River Fire & Rescue for some tips on how to stay healthy during heat waves.

Water intake, not alcohol, is always recommended.

For adults, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends 11½ cups of water every day for women, and 15½ cups each day for men.

Five- to 8-year-olds should have five glasses, or a liter, of water daily. Those 9 to 12 should consume seven glasses. For those 13 and older, eight to 10 glasses are recommended.

The amount of water you need can vary from person to person, however.

You can get fluids from water, tea and juice. Alcohol consumption on hot days, while tempting for some, can lead to dehydration.

In addition to staying hydrated, take note that the heat of the day for our area is from about 2 through 7 p.m. For those contemplating outside exercise or gardening, do so before noon. You should wear light clothing and a hat, sunscreen and carry drinking water.

Children, elderly citizens and those susceptible to extreme temperatures should be monitored for heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

There are two conditions to watch out for on a hot day.

Heat exhaustion symptoms are a headache; dizziness and confusion; loss of appetite and feeling sick; excessive seating and pale, clamming skin; cramps in the arms, legs and stomach; fast breathing or pulse; a high temperature; and being very thirsty.

Heatstroke, on the other hand, can be fatal and must be considered a medical emergency.

Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, altered mental status and slurred speech; loss of consciousness (coma); hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; seizures; and very high body temperature.

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience these heatstroke symptoms or see them in another person.

Note: To provide some cooling to residents, the St. Helens Public Library will be open an extra hour on both Monday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 26,


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