Hyperthermia Avoidance and Prevention
By Joanna DiBiase
This time of year the DC weather is sweltering and humid; the perfect combination for hyperthermia. Friendship Place hopes to help avoid this dangerous condition through our services and education.
What is hyperthermia?
Also know as heat stroke, hyperthermia is when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate.
It is characterized by a body temperature between 99 and 100 degrees .
Hyperthermia might cause hot, dry skin; dehydration leading to nausea, vomiting, or fainting; seizures; pale, bluish skin; or death.
What is an official Heat Alert?
The National Weather Service in Baltimore/Washington classifies Heat Alerts in three possible ways.
- Heat Advisory: This is the least serious alert. It indicates that sometime within the next 12 to 24 hours the temperature is predicted to reach 105-109 degrees.
- Excessive Heat Watch: This indicates that sometime in the next 12 to 48 hours the temperature is expected to exceed 110 degrees.
- Excessive Heat Warning: This indicates that sometime in the next 12 to 24 hours the temperature is likely to exceed 110 degrees.
Read more about Heat Alerts here:
What can be done to avoid hyperthermia?
- Drink lots of water to stay well-hydrated
- Move to a shaded area
- Keep ice or water on the forehead
- Wear lightweight clothing
- Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day
- If movement cannot be avoided, take frequent breaks to rest
- Use a fan or spray bottle
How can someone experiencing hyperthermia get help?
- Call Friendship Place at 202.364.1419
- Call the DC Hyperthermia Hotline at 1.800.535.7252 to be transported to one of the following cooling centers:
One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, N.W. 202.724.8613
Frank D. Reeves Center (Lobby) 2000 14th Street, N.W. 202.671.0576
King Office Building (Lobby) 3720 Martin Luther King Ave, S.E. 202.279.1800
Open Door Shelter for Women 425 2nd Street, N.W. (North Entrance)
Catholic Charities 801 East Men’s Shelter 801 East Building, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, S.E.
House of Ruth Madison/Empowerment Center (Women) 651 10th Street, N.E.
New York Avenue Men’s Emergency Shelter 1355 New York Ave., N.E.
Adam’s Place Emergency Shelter (Men) 2210 Adam’s Place, N.E.
John L. Young Center for Women 425 D St., N.W.
DC General Building #9 (Women)1900 Massachusetts Ave., S.E.
- Visit the DHS website to learn more about emergency shelter
Learn more about hyperthermia here: