County Offers Tips on Staying Cool Amid Summer Heat Wave

While thermometers are — fortunately — not encroaching on Death Valley territory à la 2021, Oregonians are in agreement: Summer has finally arrived and, well, it’s hot as heck out there.

As temperatures hit 100 on Sunday and are predicted to stay in the 90s for at least another day, county officials have compiled and released a list of tips for keeping family, neighbors, pets and yourself cool — safely.

The Canby Adult Center (503-266-2970, 1250 South Ivy Street) and Canby Public Library (503-266-3394, 220 NE 2nd Avenue) are open to the public as cooling centers during regular business hours.

Canby’s Denny’s Restaurant (503-263-3182, 1369 SE 1st Avenue), which is open 24/7, also operates as a cooling center whenever temperatures are dangerously high. No obligation to buy.

Residents who do not have access to cool places are encouraged to visit a center to avoid the heat and relax. For more information about shelters, transportation or other resources, visit or call 211.

Clackamas County, OR on Twitter: “It’s hot out there, #ClackCo! Be sure your pet has access to shade or a cool room and plenty of drinking water. / Twitter”

It’s hot out there, #ClackCo! Be sure your pet has access to shade or a cool room and plenty of drinking water.

While pools, rivers, lakes and other watering holes will inevitably be popular as temperatures rise, county and local officials urge caution.

The Canby Fire District rescued four non-swimmers on the Molalla River Saturday after one of their floatation devices was damaged in the fast-moving and debris-strewn waterway.

Heavy rains in the spring and early summer have created fast-moving rivers, creeks and streams. The water is also extremely cold. Please avoid cooling down in natural waterways.

If you do choose to recreate on the water, officials remind to provide close and constant attention to children, fence pools and spas with adequate barriers and learn swimming and water survival skills.

Children, inexperienced swimmers and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, and all residents should swim in a lifeguard-protected area and with a buddy, if possible.

Swimmers should also refrain from using alcohol, drugs (including certain prescription medications) or anything else that may affect their judgment or reaction times while swimming, diving or supervising swimmers.

In general, when the thermometer reaches the 90s or higher, all Oregonians should drink more water than usual — don’t wait until you are thirsty — and avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.

To cool off, consider taking a cool shower or bath, or use air conditioning or a fan — but don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself. This can lead to heat exhaustion.

Also, wear lightweight and loose clothing, avoid using your stove or oven, and avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours, and rest in shady areas as often as possible.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) and reapply as directed.

Know that the heat index (what the temperature feels like when humidity is involved) plays a role. When sweat isn’t able to evaporate from the body due to high humidity, the body has difficulty regulating its temperature and cooling itself off. This can result in heat exhaustion, cramps and heat stroke.

When possible, residents should also check in on elders and vulnerable neighbors, including parents of babies and toddlers, people taking mental health medications and those with heart disease or high blood pressure.

Never leave a person, child or a pet in a hot car. Temperatures inside a car can soar quickly to dangerous levels even if the outside temperature is in the 70s. Leave your pet at home during warm or hot weather.

Be sure your pet has access to shade or a cool room and to plenty of drinking water. Exercise your dog early or late in the day to avoid the hottest times of the day.

Remember that paw pads can easily burn on hot pavement. The rule is: if you cannot rest the back of your hand on the surface for more than 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

Watch for signs of heat stroke, including heavy panting, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, confusion and/or collapse. If heat stroke is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and apply cool, water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body while applying moving air to lower its temperature.

In any heat-related emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency matters, call 503-655-8211.

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