When temperatures climb into the 90s - where they've been this week and are expected to remain until Saturday - Brad Deaton looks for something to do other than mow the lawn.
"Stay in the air-conditioning, go see a movie or something," the 55-year-old Belpre resident said.
But Devola resident Todd Hallock, 51, said that's not really an option for him and his part-time lawn care business.
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Williamstown resident Jensen Burge takes a bite of his snow cone Wednesday at the Williamstown Pool.
"I got like 25 places I try to cram into three days," he said.
He and friend Don Sillaman said they just try to pace themselves and practice mind over matter.
"Just drink lots of liquids and try not to think about it," Hallock said. "We both know it's not going to last forever, so we can handle three or four days."
Time to be a good neighbor
- Friends and neighbors are urged to periodically check on the elderly and those with illnesses, since they are among those at highest risk for heat-related problems.
- The best defense against heat-related problems is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in fluid intake, activities and clothing during hot weather will help keep you safe and healthy.
Drink cool fluids
- Increase your water intake. Don't wait until you are thirsty before you start drinking water.
- Do not take salt tablets without a physician's advice.
- Avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illnesses.
Monitor or limit outdoor activities
- Young children may become preoccupied with outdoor play and not realize they are overheated. Adults should mandate frequent breaks and bring children indoors to cool down and have cool drinks.
- Children or adolescents involved in team sports should be closely monitored for signs of heat stress. Consideration should be given to modifying practice or games during the hottest parts of the day and shifting practice to cooler times.
Know how to treat heat exhaustion
- Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting.
- People experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a shady or air-conditioned area. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes or towels.
- Have the affected person sip on a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. If the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 911.
Know How to treat heat stroke
- Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation. Call 911 immediately. Symptoms include a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher; red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; rapid pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; unconsciousness; and gray skin color.
- Before medical help arrives, begin cooling the person by any means possible, such as spraying him with water from a garden hose or by placing her in a cool tub of water.
NEVER leave children or pets in vehicles
- Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures quickly. Even if the windows are cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.
- Children or animals left inside a vehicle are at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death.
- When traveling with children (even routine drives), remember to do the following:
To remind yourself that a child is in the car, place bags, phones or other items you will take with you in the back seat. This will force you to turn around before exiting the car.
When leaving your vehicle, check the front and back seats to make sure no sleeping children (or pets) are left in the car.
Source: Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
Last week, some people may have thought the rain would last forever, but it let up for the most part in recent days. While that's led to uncomfortable conditions for some, it's brought new life to area pools.
"It does seem like summer's just beginning 'cause all the pools are hurting," said Mike Bishman, owner of Professional Pool management, which runs the pools in Marietta, Beverly, Williamstown, Parkersburg and Vienna. "The weather's just been killing us."
On Monday, attendance at the Marietta Aquatic Center was in the 800s, Bishman said, stretching to about 900 Tuesday. Attendance figures were not immediately available Wednesday.
Boaz resident Sharon Malcom, 64, brings her granddaughters, Ava and Maggie Johnson, to the Williamstown Pool about once a week when the weather's right. But thanks to recent wet conditions, Wednesday was just the third time they'd been this summer.
"I like swimming," beamed 2-year-old Maggie.
Malcom said the girls have also cooled off by running through the sprinkler.
"You get wet," Ava said, explaining why she likes it.
Twelve-year-old Elaine Freed of Williamstown was spending part of her birthday at the pool with her cousins and one of her favorite ways to beat the heat - a book.
"I just read inside," she said, estimating she can go through three books a week in the summer.
The promise of the pool - and some Fla-Vor-Ice - was enough to coax Pierson Stengel, 6, out of his Williamstown home despite the 90-plus-degree conditions Wednesday.
"I usually don't go outside" when it's that hot, he said.
Whatever strategy people take, it's important to make adjustments to one's routine when dealing with the heat, experts say.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety recommends folks stay inside as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. During the warmest part of the day, people without air-conditioning may want to head to somewhere that has it, like a library, movie theater, store or community facility.
"We spend a lot of time at Walmart," laughed Joann Allen, 41, of Lowell.
The Department of Public Safety also recommends dressing in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing that covers as much skin as possible and avoiding strenuous work in the warmest part of the day.
Belpre resident Kathleen Meckstroth follows that advice.
"If I have to work outside, I work outside after the sun goes down or early morning," she said.
Meckstroth also leaves curtains closed during the day to keep her house as cool as possible without using the air conditioner.
Members of the Marietta High School Wall of Sound are in their second week of summer rehearsal, and they limit their outside work to the morning when it's as hot as it's been recently, said band director Ernie Cornell. The staff emphasizes to students the importance of staying hydrated, requiring them to bring water with them but also providing more at the school.
"We give the kids lots of water breaks," Cornell said. "We ... tell them to lay off the super fatty, greasy foods."
Instead, students are urged to eat fruits like bananas and "everything that has good quantities of water, but at the same time has all the vitamins and potassium," he said.