Onondaga County Commissioner of Health, Dr. Indu Gupta, is advising that individuals take precaution due to the extreme heat that is expected today. The heat index – which is how hot it really feels – is expected to be in the upper 90s due to temperatures in the low 90s and dewpoints in the upper 60s. A high heat index, besides making people uncomfortable, also significantly worsens the air quality which can impact people with lung diseases like asthma. Air pollution concentrations may become unhealthy for sensitive groups, like children and seniors, as well as those suffering from heart or lung diseases. These effects can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or outdoor exercise.
Dr. Gupta explains that, “During these extreme heat conditions, residents should take steps to stay cool. The elderly, small children, overweight individuals, those with chronic health problems, or those who take certain medications are at an increased risk for heat-related illness.” To stay healthy during hot weather it is important for everyone to follow these safety tips:
- Drink water regularly, even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Stay in an air conditioned indoor location. If your home is not air conditioned, visit public places such as senior centers, libraries, and malls. A listing is available at: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/countycenters
- Keep curtains and window shades closed.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully and pace yourself.
- Dress in loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- Protect face and head from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid too much sun and use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF rating.
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
- NEVER leave children, disabled individuals or pets in cars
The Health Department reminds individuals to take steps to prevent heat-related illness. For more information on how to Avoid, Spot and Treat Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion visit https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/infographics/ast-heat.htm. If you or someone you know is experiencing heat-related symptoms, contact your health care provider or 911 immediately.
For more information about heat-related illness prevention tips call the Onondaga County Health Department at (315) 435-3280 or visit www.ongov.net/health/heat.html or http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.asp.