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Here’s how you beat the heat at Water Follies

Alvin Gonzalez lays on a peacock inflatable in the Columbia River to stay cool on a hot Friday afternoon during the 2018 HAPO Columbia Cup & Over the River Air Show. 
Saturday and Sunday’s high is 100 degrees
Alvin was accompanied by his mother Yesenia Gonzalez of Richland.
Alvin Gonzalez lays on a peacock inflatable in the Columbia River to stay cool on a hot Friday afternoon during the 2018 HAPO Columbia Cup & Over the River Air Show. Saturday and Sunday’s high is 100 degrees Alvin was accompanied by his mother Yesenia Gonzalez of Richland. Tri-City Herald

In the more than 30 years that Bud Rose has been providing first aid at the Water Follies, he’s seen a lot.

There have been adults biting adults, people who dove into the river and hit their heads on rocks, bee stings that have sent allergic people into anaphylactic shock and folks drank more than they should.

And then there is the old standby — heat-related emergencies.

He’s prepared to see plenty of those cases Saturday and Sunday.

The temperature is expected to be about 100 degrees both days — not as hot as originally predicted.

Now the National Weather Service thinks the worst of the heat wave will hit the Tri-Cities on Monday and Tuesday, with temperatures of 104 to 105.

Trios has two first aid booths available, one by the pits and the other one across from the barge at the start and finish line.

Rose will be staffing the one near the barge, and he’ll have a hose ready to cool down anyone who gets too hot.

You can get a misting or a drenching.

If you choose the river to cool off, keep your shoes on, Rose said. A pair of old sneakers can guard against sharp rocks and any broken glass in the river.

And don’t dive in.

If you have an open sore, stay out of the river.

“It is not clean like city water, and you could get an infection,” he said.

There may not be as much beer drinking as there was at Water Follies’ earlier, wilder days, but Trios still recommends going easy on the alcohol.

Alcohol makes it hard for your body to balance electrolytes and core temperature more difficult.

It’s also a diuretic.

Drink more water to compensate for booze, Rose said.

Everyone should try to stay ahead of their thirst in the heat, Rose added. Drink water before you start to crave it.

Sports drinks aren’t bad, but they can have a lot of sodium. Alternate them with equal amounts of plain water, Rose advised.

Rose said there’s no magic number for how much water to drink. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration says outdoor workers should drink four cups of water every hour as the temperature climbs above 100.

Ice water will be at both first aid stations.

Children are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, Rose said, so give them plenty of water.

Keep them in the shade if you can, he added. Consider sunshades, umbrellas, tents and hats.

One of the dangers of heat-related illnesses is that once people are affected, they may not be thinking clearly and will remain in the hot sun.

“Your mind plays tricks on you,” Rose said.

It can get above 100 degrees and you’re no longer sweating, but you don’t wonder why.

That’s when body temperature can quickly climb to a dangerous 104 or 105 degrees, he said.

Initial symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea or muscle cramps.

If you get heat stroke, a person will have a throbbing headache, stop sweating, may vomit and have skin that is red, hot and dry.

If you see that, get help immediately.

Rose also tells people not to forget their sunscreen. You’ll need to reapply frequently if you are sweating or go in the water.

The first aid stations will have some sunscreen on hand.

“Just be smart,” Rose said. “Don’t be invincible. It doesn’t work.”

Annette Cary; 509-582-1533
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