15 Minutes in Extreme Heat Can Lead to Lifelong Problems
In extreme heat like the Treasure Valley is seeing this week, it's shocking how quickly your body can go from the normal 98.6-degree range to a heat stroke range of 106. There are cooling shelters opening around Boise that could be lifesavers.
When I was a kid I always thought my mom worried too much, and because of that I still fight off the urge to worry about things now. "Calm down. It'll be fine, just give it time." That's what I tell the kiddos when the drama starts to get a grip, and I tell myself that too when the internet goes out or when the Broncos lose. Everything will always be okay. But in this case, it might be healthy to worry a little. The heat this week is no joke, and a heat stroke can creep up and set in within 10 to 15 minutes. That's fast, and the effects can last the rest of our lives.
I don't know that I've ever been near heat stroke level, but I have felt dizziness and headaches with extreme heat, and usually drinking water and getting into a 72-degree space air-conditioned space helps. Dehydration is a huge problem in weather like this because we usually realize it once we're already at the point of dehydration and that makes it harder to manage and recover from. We should be drinking lots of water all day to stay on top of it.
Heatstroke happens when the body can't control its temperature anymore because the sweating mechanism fails, according to the CDC. If we stop sweating that's a terrible sign that something major is wrong and it's time to get help. There are other things to watch out for too.
Cool and clammy skin
Irritability and occasionally confusion
The Mayo Clinic said "untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death."
There are several cooling shelters that have opened around Boise this week, and those shelters could be a matter of life and death. Being outside for huge blocks of time in the afternoons this week is literally suffocating, and cooling shelters have opened to give anyone that needs them the chance to cool off.
KTVB listed the locations for cooling shelters this week:
Boise Rescue Mission Ministries: 24-hours, Monday through Sunday
Boise Library, downtown location: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cathedral of the Rockies Church, downtown campus: Noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Corpus Christi House: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday
Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday
Heat is the number-one weather-related killer in the U.S., according to KTVB.com, so duck out of it this week if you need to. It's nothing to mess with. And bring the dogs inside! If we're getting dizzy and nauseous, they may be too.
The extended forecast is showing temperatures around 100 all the way through the middle part of July. Good grief! Maybe winter is not so bad.