Polk County Health Department

Central Iowa experiences first heat event of the season

Starting today and throughout Memorial Day Weekend, Central Iowa is expected to see high temperatures and humidity. This is our first days this year with high heat and humidity, so our bodies may not be as prepared as usual to adjust to extremely hot weather, increasing the risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Anyone is at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke during prolonged extreme heat but children, older adults, people with chronic health conditions, outdoor workers and athletes practicing outdoors are at an increased risk.

With many outdoor events taking place over the holiday weekend, individuals need take the following precautions to avoid heat related illnesses:

  • Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Drink plenty of water. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate you.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Spend at least two hours in air conditioning each day.
  • Try to avoid being outdoors in the hottest portion of the day: 11 AM to 4 PM.
  • NEVER leave children or pets alone in a car even for a minute.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, hats to shade your face and use sunscreen.

If you do not have air conditioning, many public places such as malls, libraries and senior centers are air-conditioned and are open to the public as daytime cooling centers.  For a full list of daytime cooling centers that are open this weekend and on Memorial Day, visit the Polk County Health Department’s website at http://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health/ or call 211. 

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314