For more information contact:
Frank Kruppaat (607) 274-6674 or Theresa Lyczko at 274-6714
Heat Wave — Health Department Advises How to Stay Safe
(Ithaca, N.Y., June 20, 2012) — Tompkins County is under a heat advisory with temperatures expected today and tomorrow in the mid-90’s. The combination of heat and humidity will create heat indices near or just above 100 degrees. These extreme temperatures can be dangerous to health.
“Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can cause serious health problems,” cautions Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director, “especially for the elderly, infants and young children, people with respiratory ailments or chronic medical conditions and anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors.”
“It’s important to take precautions,” Kruppa advises. Drink plenty of water — 2 to 4 glasses per hour during extreme heat, avoid alcohol, stay out of the sun and go to an air conditioned space such as the malls or the library if your home is not air conditioned. Wear light colored clothing and if you are out in the sun be sure to apply a broad spectrum sun screen. Slow down activity especially during the sun’s peak hours. And do not leave children and pets in the car during intense heat — exposure to such high temperatures is dangerous. Make an effort to check on neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs.
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include an extremely high body temperature above 103°F; hot, dry, red skin; rapid pulse; loss of alertness; confusion; rapid and shallow breathing and unconsciousness. Call 911 immediately and cool the person quickly. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat related illness and is characterized by heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, cool clammy skin, fainting. Move the person to a cool place, loosen clothes and apply cool, wet cloths.
For more information on signs and symptoms of heat related illness and how to prevent them, go to http://www.tompkins-co.org/health/summer/heat.htm or http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/