GLOUCESTER— With temperatures expected to soar through Wednesday, Public Health Director Karin Carroll and the Gloucester Health Department wish to share tips for residents to stay safe, cool and healthy amid the heat.
A Heat Advisory remains in effect regionally until Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Gloucester may reach a high of 90 degrees today, 95 degrees tomorrow and 85 degrees Wednesday.
“Temperatures this high can be extremely hazardous, and we’re urging everyone to be vigilant over the coming days about the steps they need to take to stay cool and healthy. Drink plenty of water, seek out air conditioning, and avoid strenuous activities outdoors–especially mid-day and in the early afternoon,” Public Health Director Carroll said. “Be sure to apply, and re-apply, sunscreen and check in on loved ones and friends who are older in age or may be at a high risk for illness due to the heat.”
To prevent illness and injuries, the Gloucester Health Department recommends the following safety tips from the American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Safety Council:
Heat Safety Tips:
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, like water.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during a heat advisory.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Factors that may impact a person’s ability to cool off during a heat wave include: age, obesity, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. In particular, those over age 65 or under age two, and people will chronic or mental illness are those at the highest risk during an extreme heat event.
- If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 3 p.m.
- Pace yourself– start activities slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities if the temperature is too hot.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
- Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
- Additional Tips for Parents:
- Limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses.
- Avoid burns. If playground equipment is hot to the touch, it is too hot for your child’s bare skin.
The Gloucester Health Department also reminds the community to remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of heat stroke, including:
- A temperature above 103 degrees
- Red, hot and dry skin, without sweat
- Rapid and strong pulse
- Upset stomach
Watch out for indications you or a loved one has heat exhaustion as well, which include:
- Significant sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Upset stomach/vomiting
If you believe you or a loved one is experiencing heat stroke or heat exhaustion, seek medical attention immediately. For more information about heat stroke and heat exhaustion from the CDC, click here. To learn more about summer safety, visit the National Safety Council’s summer safety website here.