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Health Department Warns of Extreme Heat, Offers Safety Tips

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Health Department Warns of Extreme Heat, Offers Safety Tips

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Our area is expecting extreme heat and humidity Friday, July 19 - Saturday, July 20 with temperatures possibly reaching 100 degrees.

BEAT the HEAT. These extreme temperatures can be dangerous to health. Take the following precautions:

  • Drink plenty of water – 2 to 4 glasses per hour, depending on level of activity
  • Limit strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
  • Prevent sunburn by applying sunscreen if you must be outside (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Wear loose, lightweight and light colored clothing
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks that cause dehydration
  • Take a cool shower or go swimming
  • Wear a ventilated hat, such as straw or mesh
  • Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles
  • Go to air-conditioned spaces such as a mall, library, or community center
  • Use caution with electric fans; they create air flow and a sense of comfort, but do not lower body temperature.

Who is Most at Risk? Infants and children up to four years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill, have chronic medical conditions and/ or on certain medications.

Know the warning signs of heat-related illness. Check out our Preparedness Page.

Every heat related illness and death is preventable! You can help prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths by checking on people in your community during periods of extreme heat and, if needed, offering to drive them to an air-conditioned location. A/C is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death, according to the CDC.

Be Familiar with the Signs and Symptoms of Heat Related Illness

Heat stroke is most serious. Signs and symptoms include an extremely high body temperature above 103 degrees; hot, dry, red skin; rapid pulse; loss of alertness; confusion; rapid and shallow breathing and unconsciousness. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and you should call 911 immediately.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat related illness and is characterized by heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, cool clammy skin, fainting.

If you see someone showing these symptoms, move the person to a cool place, loosen their clothes and apply cool, wet cloths.

Additional links:

Visit the Health Department online, Follow the department on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter @TompkinsHealth.

Heat exhaustion, heat stroke graphic