Help for When It’s Hot
Tips to Stay Cool
With high temps and sunny skies forecasted over the holiday weekend and into next week, it’s important to keep in mind these safety tips to avoid heat-related illnesses.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car on a warm day.
- If air conditioning is not available in your home go to a cooling center.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat, if possible.
- Check on family members, older adults and neighbors.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Consider pet safety. If they are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to comfortable shade. Asphalt and dark pavement can be very hot to your pet’s feet.
- If using a mask, use one that is made of breathable fabric, such as cotton, instead of polyester. Don’t wear a mask if you feel yourself overheating or have trouble breathing.
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and ways to respond. If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for advice and shelter in place if you can. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1.
Heat Stroke Signs
- Extremely high body temperature (above 103º F) taken orally
- Red, hot and dry skin with no sweat
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness
If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives. Do not give the person anything to drink.
Heat Cramps Signs
- Muscle pains
- Spasms in the stomach, arms or legs
Heat Exhaustion Signs
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Fast or weak pulse
- Nausea / vomiting
If you have signs of heat cramps or heat exhaustion, go to a cooler location and cool down by removing excess clothing and taking sips of sports drinks or water. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour. Visit the Heat Illness and First Aid page for more info.
Local Cooling Shelters
- Splash Pad at Donald L Robertson City Park Directions - 24300 Northeast Halsey Street, Wood Village, OR 97060
- Troutdale Library Directions - 2451 Southwest Cherry Park Road, Troutdale, OR 97060
- Fairview-Columbia Library Directions - 1520 Northeast Village Street, Fairview, OR 97024
- Splash Pad at Blue Lake Regional Park Directions - 21224 Northeast Blue Lake Road, Fairview, OR 97024
- Gresham Library Directions - 385 Northwest Miller Avenue, Gresham, OR 97030
- Splash Pad at Children’s Fountain Directions - 401 Northeast Second Street, Gresham, OR 97030
- Gresham Senior Center Directions - 600 Northeast 8th Street Room 130, Gresham, OR 97030
- Rockwood Library Directions - 17917 Southeast Stark Street, Portland, OR 97233
- Splash Pad at Rockwood Market Hall Directions - 458 Southeast 185th Avenue, Gresham, OR 97030
Swim & Splash Safely
When the weather turns warmer, many people seek relief in rivers, lakes and streams. But natural waterways can be dangerous, especially in late spring and early summer. Be aware of swift currents, cool water temperatures, hidden hazards, and uneven bottom surfaces.
Children should only go into the water with:
- Adult permission
- A life jacket. Water wings are not life jackets!
- An adult watching at all times
Water Safety Message Video
Cool Off Safely
American Medical Response, the region’s ambulance service, trains lifeguards and provides river safety education to communities in East County. They have a few recommendations for anyone headed out to enjoy a natural waterway:
- Avoid risky waters, such as rapids, waterfalls and rocks.
- Never swim alone
- Learn to swim
- Children, and adults who are nonswimmers, should wear a life jacket in and around water.
- Be aware of cold shock. When your body hits cold water, it can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden gasp and rapid breathing creates a greater risk of drowning.
- Assign a responsible adult to supervise children around water at all times!
- Don’t drink or use drugs in or around the water
- Learn CPR
In an Emergency
- Do not go in after someone unless you are trained in water rescue.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately!
- Throw a life ring, buoy, or other floating object to the victim while you are waiting for first responders.
- Coach the victim, guiding them to calm, to float, to move toward shallow water.