Heatwave Continues: Heat Advisory in Effect for D.C. Area

It will feel like 100 degrees or higher when you step outside Monday afternoon, thanks to the steamy humidity and a high of 96 degrees.

A heat advisory is effect for the D.C. area until 8 p.m. A heat advisory means that a period of high temperatures is expected. The combination of high temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

A code orange air quality alert is in effect for the area due to building concentrations of air pollution, which is a threat to young children, the elderly and anyone with heart or respiratory ailment.

Here are four ways you can stay cool and prevent heat-related illnesses::

1. Minimize Exposure
While staying indoors is an obvious way to minimize your exposure to the heat, you can also minimize how much sun beams down on you by dressing for the weather. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, lightly colored clothing.
If you must be outside, remember to also take frequent breaks and avoid the sun's peak hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

2. Stay Indoors When Possible or Find a Local Cooling Center
When air quality is poor and temperatures are high, stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning.
If you don't have air conditioning, find your nearest cooling center.

FIND: Cooling Centers

3. Don't Leave Children or Pets in the Car
It takes only 10 minutes for a car's interior to reach 90 degrees on an 80-degree day -- even with the windows rolled down two inches. After 30 minutes, the interior temperate will reach 114. And after an hour, a car's inside will top 123 degrees, says SaferCar.gov.

SaferCar.gov and KidsAndCars.org offer the following tips to keep your kids safe:

  • Leave anything you normally need (such as your purse, wallet or cell phone) in the back seat).
  • Keep a large item, such as a stuffed toy, in your child's seat when he or she isn't there. Keep the item in the front seat when your child is in the back.
  • Check your back seats every time you leave the car.
  • Arrange to have your child's daycare, babysitter or school call you if your child doesn't arrive.
  • If you're dropping off your child but your partner normally does it, have him or her call you to make sure the drop-off went according to plan.
  • Teach your children never to enter or play in a parked vehicle.
  • Heatstroke can occur in weather as low as 57 degrees, and children's body temperatures rise faster than adults'. Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even for a minute.

4. Know the Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
According to the Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is one of three heat-related injuries, "with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe." Someone suffering from heat may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Heatstroke follows heat exhaustion. Sufferers may experience the following symptoms:
  • High body temperature
  • A lack of sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
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