Fourth Of July Temperatures Pose Health Risk

Jul 4, 2018

You're going to want to find a shady spot to watch this year's Fourth of July parade. This week's heat wave will continue with high temperatures and poor air quality through Thursday.

Credit Peter Merholz / Flickr

Spokesperson Emily Spencer of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services warns that the heat can cause serious health issues, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and sunburns.

"Some heat illnesses are mild, they can present like a rash or a sunburn, or heat cramps,” Spencer says. “Others, like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration can be severe or even life threatening and may require emergency medical care."

Children, the elderly, and those with disabilities and breathing problems are most at risk. The DHHS also recommends staying hydrated, and avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

"Make sure that they rest, and also it isn't a bad idea to cool the person off with water or wet cloths, and if it's possible even have them take a cool shower or bath," Spencer says.

Cooling centers are available through the 211 phone service in parts of southern Maine.