Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
July 5, 2016
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512
KEEP YOUR COOL IN THE HEAT
NEW CITY, NY - - Summer is here and so is the hot weather! The current forecast calls for high temperatures in the 90's with humidity. These weather conditions can cause heat stroke and worsen chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert urge residents to take simple steps to stay cool and help prevent heat-related illnesses.
"Extreme heat can pose dangers, but there are many things we can do to reduce heat-related problems. While summertime heat and humid weather can be dangerous for anyone, including young, healthy people, those most at risk include older adults, young children, and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart problems and breathing or lung problems," said Dr. Ruppert.
To protect yourself and your family when the weather is very hot, follow the tips below:
- Never leave children, pets or those with special needs in a parked car, even briefly. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes.
- Use air-conditioning to cool down or go to an air-conditioned building or cooling center. Visit www.rocklandgov.com/health for a list of cooling centers near you or call your town or village. Before going to a cooling center, it's important to call ahead to make sure it's open, as some cooling centers are only open during regular business hours and officially declared heat emergencies and extreme heat events.
- Drink plenty of fluids - don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Beat the heat with cool showers and baths.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and take regular breaks from physical activity.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to help keep cool.
- Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g., straw or mesh) when in the sun and even if it is cloudy.
- Be aware that some medicines affect the body's ability to sweat and stay cool, including antihistamines, antidepressants, over-the-counter sleeping pills, anti-diarrhea pills, beta blockers, anti-Parkinson's drugs and psychiatric drugs. Do NOT stop taking medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
- Check on your neighbors such as the elderly or those in poor health to see if they need assistance.
For more information about keeping cool in the summer heat, visit the New York State Department of Health website at www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hot/. Updates on weather conditions are available from the National Weather Service www.weather.gov. Visit www.rocklandgov.com/health for a list of cooling centers near you or call your town or village. (Call ahead before going to a cooling center to make sure it's open).