Keep your cool in the summer heat!
Take simple steps to 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 can be dangerous for anyone, those most at risk from the heat include older adults, young children, and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart problems and breathing or lung problems." Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, FAAFP, Rockland County Commissioner of HealthTo 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. For more information about cooling centers call Information Rockland at 364-2020 or go to www.rocklandgov.com/cooling-centers.
- If you don't have air conditioning in your home, open windows and shades on the shady side and close them on the sunny side to try to cool it down.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but 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.
- 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.
- 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/.
Residents can stay informed about current air quality conditions by calling the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Air Quality Hotline at 1-800-535-1345, or by visiting their website www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/aqi/aqi_forecast.cfm.