To keep safe the Health Department recommends that people:
• Slow down and reduce outdoor activities, especially during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes.
• Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic, caffeine-free fluids. Check with your doctor if you are on diuretic medications or have a problem with fluid retention.
• Spend more time in air-conditioned places. In order for air conditioners and central air units to be effective, it’s best to have them serviced annually.
• Never leave a child, disabled adult, elderly person or a pet in a car for even a few minutes. Temperatures can rise to life-threatening levels within minutes.
• Avoid using your stove or oven.
• Use your dishwasher and dryer at night.
• Keep window shades or drapes closed.
• Set ceiling fans in a counterclockwise position to pull cool air up.
• Spend some time in an air conditioned facility during the worst of the heat. This can be a public building such as a library, senior center, shopping mall or grocery store.
• Sit in a bathtub containing cool water.
• Don’t get too much sun. Use at least a SPF 30 sunscreen. Note that sunburn makes it more difficult to cool off.
• Bringing air in from the outside with fans is not effective when the heat index is above 90; use them to blow hot air outside instead.
• Keep in mind that infants, the elderly, people with heart or lung problems, overweight people and those who work outside are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
• Certain medications disrupt a body’s thermostat and make it more difficult to cool down, especially those taken for mental or movement disorders, allergies, depression and heart or circulatory problems.
• Frequently contact neighbors and others you know who are at a greater risk and help them obtain relief from the heat and humidity.
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