Staying Safe During Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke: Tips for Pregnant People and Infants
Posted on 06/04/2024

As temperatures rise and wildfires become more frequent and intense, it's important for pregnant people and families with babies to take extra precautions to stay safe. The combination of extreme heat and smoke poses big risks on health, but with careful planning and awareness, we can mitigate these dangers and ensure the well-being of both expectant mothers and infants.

Extreme heat exposure during pregnancy can raise risk of severe delivery  complications, new study finds | PBS NewsHour 

Stay Informed: 

  • Monitor weather forecasts and air quality reports regularly, especially during periods of extreme heat and nearby wildfires. When AQI is over 100, expectant persons and young children are recommended to stay indoors as much as possible. 

  • Sign up for alerts from local authorities, like CodeRED, to stay updated on evacuation notices and emergency information 

  • Live in Benton County? Go to Click on the CodeRED icon and complete the instructions.  

  • Live in Franklin County? Go to Click on the CodeRED icon and complete the instructions.  

  • If you don’t have internet access to sign up, please call Emergency Management  

  • Benton County residents 509-628-2600 or  

  • Franklin County residents at (509) 545-3546 or (800) 258-5873.  


Stay Hydrated and Cool:  

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. 

  • If you are breast/chest feeding, continue to do so as breast/chest milk provides hydration and essential nutrients to the baby. 

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, often times this is later in the afternoon. 

  • Keep a few bottles of water in your freezer; if the power goes out, move them to your refrigerator and keep the doors shut. 

  • If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. 

  • Take cool showers or baths to lower body temperature if necessary. 

  • If no central AC, get a fan and put a bowl of ice in front of it. This can decrease temperature quickly by 5 degrees Fahrenheit in any given room. 

  • Cool off the skin by taking cool wet wash cloths and cover any exposed skin. 

Extreme heat makes pregnancy more dangerous » Yale Climate Connections 

Keep Clean Air Inside or Relocate: 

  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible by closing windows and doors to prevent smoke from entering the home. 

  • Run the air conditioner, if available. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. 

  • Avoid creating more indoor air pollution. Don’t smoke, burn candles, or vacuum. Avoid using the oven, frying, or grilling foods on the stove top. 

  • Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove particles from the air. 

  • Consider wearing a well-fitting NIOSH-approved N95 mask.  

  • Make your own clean air fan.  

  • If air quality is poor in your home, consider relocating to an air-conditioned building with better filtration, such as a public library or shopping mall. Call 211 to find your nearest cooling center.  

Baby heat rash: Types, pictures, treatment, duration, and more 

Protect Infants: 

  • Keep infants indoors as much as possible, especially during times of poor air quality. Infants breathe in more air for their size than adults and therefore absorb harmful materials from the air more easily.  

  • Dress infants in lightweight, breathable clothing and use lightweight blankets if needed.