Heat Stress - Washington Tracking Network (WTN)

Why Should I be Concerned About Heat Stress?

Heat-related health problems range from mild conditions like heat rash and heat cramps, to the most serious heat-related illness of heat stroke. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can cause dizziness and fatigue, leading to injuries such as falls and other accidents. Heat stress is caused by the body's inability to cool down properly and can happen to anyone.

  • Hospitalizations for heat-related illness in Washington state range from 25 to 113 people each year; about 50% are people ages 65 and older. Heat stress is tracked from May to September.
  • More hospitalizations happened in 2006 and 2009 when temperatures were above average.
  • Extreme heat events (heat waves) are predicted to happen more often and last longer due to our changing climate.

Some people are at higher risk for heat-related illness

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Infants and children up to 4 years of age
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill or on certain medications

View the Data

Heat Stress Deaths

Heat Stress Hospitalizations

View WTN's climate change projections.

Reduce Exposure

To learn more about how to prevent heat-related illness, visit our hot weather safety webpage.

Contact Us

For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.

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National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program