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Americans Experience Hottest Heat Wave on Record

heat waveThere’s a “heat dome” currently blanketing eight states on the West Coast: Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, causing the hottest heat wave on record. Early morning temperatures were in the mid-90s in Las Vegas, and the record heat will stick around for at least another three days, according to ABC News. So far the highest high has reached 123 degrees in Needles, California. Yikes!

Temperatures are high all across the country, so here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control for staying cool and safe during this warm, holiday week:

  • Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

Infants, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable during extreme heat, so take care to make sure your family members are staying cool and hydrated.

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