Stay Safe In A Heat Wave
The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the remainder of the week, with the hottest weather expected on Friday, when heat indexes could exceed 110F in the afternoon. In addition, thunderstorms are possible on Thursday, and probable for Friday.
To reduce the risk of adverse health effects during a heat wave, avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day if possible, and take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing and drink plenty of water. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion takes on two forms: Water depletion and salt depletion. Signs of water depletion include excessive thirst, weakness, headache and loss of consciousness. Signs of salt depletion include nausea and vomiting, frequent muscle cramps and dizziness.
Heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke, so a person with the above symptoms should get out of the heat immediately into air conditioning if possible; drink water, sports drinks or other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages; take a cold shower, bath or sponge bath; and remove any tight or nonessential clothing.
If after 30 minutes the person isn't feeling better, they should contact a doctor. Heat exhaustion can lead to head stroke, a serious medical emergency.
Signs of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke, also called sun stroke, occurs when the core body temperature reaches 105 degrees and can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, or even death. People aged 50 years and older are most susceptible to heat stroke, though younger athletes are also at risk.
Fainting is often the first sign of heat stroke. Other symptoms include a throbbing headache, dizziness, lack of sweat despite the heat, muscle weakness and cramping, nausea and vomitting, rapid heart beat, shallow breathing, confusion or disorientation, staggering, seizures and unconsciousness.
Heat Stroke is an emergency, call 9-1-1. Be sure to check on your elderly neighbors and seek out locations with air conditioning to keep cool.
Tips From MPK OEM
The borough's Office of Emergency Management offers the following suggestions for residents to stay safe in excessive heat:
Neighbor Check Please check on your home bound, or any neighbors with special needs.
Slow downStrenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
Dress for summer Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
Put less fuel on your inner fires Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets, or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
Spend more time in air-conditioned places Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection.
Don't get too much sun Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult
If you must be out in the heat:
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
- Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
- Try to rest often in shady areas.
The Midland Park Library is air conditioned and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm, except Wednesday and Saturday when it closes at 5pm.
For up-to-the-minute weather alerts, check the National Weather Service Emergency Alerts Page for Midland Park.
How are you staying cool in this heat? What air conditioned places do you recommend? Tell us in the comments!