TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Southern Idaho health officials say people need to take steps to stay cool during stretches of high heat. The South Central Public Health District along with the College of Southern Idaho's Office on Aging are warning southern Idaho residents of the dangers of hot temperatures, especially to the elderly and young. 600 people a year, on average, died from extreme heat, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Heat illnesses are avoidable if you stay cool and hydrated,” said MaryAnn Doshier, Health Education Specialist with the SCPHD, in a prepared statement. “One simple rule to follow: if your shadow is shorter than you, find shade!

High heat can lead to dangerous high body temperatures, organ damage, and death. Young children and adults over 65, along with people who work outside, plus those with medical conditions are more at risk. Officials with the Office on Aging say the elderly take many medications that may carry side effects of dehydration and people need to drink more water, even if they are not thirsty. Also, if the elderly do not have air-conditioned homes, seek out one of the 16 senior centers in the Magic Valley to get relief from the heat, says Shawna Wasko, public information Officer with the CSI Office on Aging. Family and friends are also encouraged to check up on their elder neighbors.

Health officials recommend:

  • Limit outdoor activity, especially at midday when the sun is hottest
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen at least every 80 minutes when outdoors
  • Drink extra water, don’t wait until you are thirsty
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Utilize public buildings like libraries and community centers if you don’t have air conditioning
  • NEVER leave children or pets in cars
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you

More resources at this LINK.