Boise ties July 2 record at 105 degrees; medics offer advice for the heat

kterhune@idahostatesman.comJuly 2, 2013 

— The Treasure Valley sweltered Tuesday under another hot afternoon, and an air quality advisory suggesting that children and the elderly stay indoors.

The temperature reached 105 degrees at the Boise airport by 4:40 p.m. National Weather Service forecasts suggest Tuesday's high could still reach 109.

Predicted lows Tuesday night are between 70 and 75 degrees. Tuesday afternoon and evening also carry a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

Deputy Director Shawn Rayne with the Ada County Paramedics said paramedics have treated 18 people for heatstroke or similar complaints since June 29.

Children and the elderly are the most susceptible to heat-related illnesses, Rayne said.

"With older people, their circulation isn’t as good as it was when they were younger," he said. "The very young don’t have the same ability to cool themselves down. They don’t have they same amount of body surface area to pull that heat out of them when they get overheated."

But healthy adults are also at risk, he warned. When temperatures are as high as they have been recently, it’s important for everyone to make sure they are drinking plenty of water and limiting exposure to the heat.

Even those who have been keeping up their fluid intake can still be at risk of heat stroke, Rayne said.

"You can be fairly well-hydrated but still have a heat injury," he said. "The body has just reached a temperature where it can’t cool itself down. You can see people with temperatures up to 105, 106 degrees, and that’s pretty dangerous."

At Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, a handful of patients have come in with heat-related complaints, according to hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Krajnik.

The hospital's urgent care has had four patients with minor heat injuries since the week began, she said.

“Those range from rashes to sunburns to shortness of breath due to the heat, [but] no heat stroke or exhaustion or anything really serious,” she said.

The heat wave has sent a number of patients to St. Luke’s hospitals as well, spokesman Ken Dey said.

A total of eight people were admitted to the hospital system’s emergency rooms with heat illnesses recently.

“I think we saw about four people in Boise: just really dehydration, nothing serious,“ he said.

One patient in Nampa and three in Meridian were also treated for minor illnesses brought on by the high temperatures, Dey said.

Rayne said that those planning to work outside or enjoy the weather during the hottest parts of the day need to monitor themselves as temperatures rise.

"Just be cognizant of how you feel: if you start feeling dizzy, faint, overheated, extremely tired or anything like that, it’s time to take a break,” he said. ”Get into the shade, get into air conditioning, and get yourself cooled down."

Reporter Katy Moeller contributed.

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