FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Connecticut Department of Public Health reminded residents of Fairfield County and the whole state via Twitter of the dangers of high temperatures, especially for the health of the elderly, young children and people who work outside.
The public health department lists these tips on its website:
- Drink Plenty of Fluids: Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in the heat, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or a lot of sugar—these cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
- Wear The Right Clothing and Sunscreen: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
- Go Outside When It's Coolest: If you must be outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to cool off.
- Pace Yourself: If you are not used to working or exercising in the heat, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint.
- Stay Cool Indoors: Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. Go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to keep a cooler temperature in your home.
- Use a Buddy System: When working in the heat, watch the condition of your co-workers. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
- Monitor Those at High Risk: Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids. People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature. People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat. People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
- Do Not Leave Children or Pets in Cars: Cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
- Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
- Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
- Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.