N.Y. – Schenectady County is warning residents to take precautions during the
coming days of high temperatures and
has offered some helpful hints on how to do so.
are encouraged to drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun if possible, stay in
an air conditioned room or keep rooms well-ventilated with windows open and
fans on. Residents are also reminded that they can visit an air conditioned
store, area mall, movie theater, or a Schenectady County Library branch.
The Schenectady County Office of Emergency
Management also offers the following quick heat-beating tips:
- If possible, stay out of the sun. When
in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your
face and head.
- Use an air conditioner if you have one.
Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
- If you do not have an air conditioner,
keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Consider going to a
public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater or Library.
- Fans work best at night, when they can
bring in cooler air from outside.
- Make a special effort to check on your
neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young
children, and people with special needs. Many older New Yorkers live alone
and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated from
friends and family.
- Seniors and others who may be sensitive
to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least
twice a day during a heat wave.
- Drink fluids – particularly water – even
if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine,
or high amounts of sugar. People with heart, kidney or liver disease or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose
clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
- Never leave children, pets, or those who
require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer
- Never leave pets outside for extended
periods of time. Ensure pets have
an ample supply of water.
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially
during the sun's peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must engage in
strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in
the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
- Cool showers or baths may be helpful,
but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after
becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill,
nauseated, or dizzy.
- During heat emergencies, cooling centers
may be opened, listen to TV and radio news.
Seek help if you feel symptoms of
- HEAT CRAMPS: Heat cramps are muscular pains
and spasms, usually in the leg or stomach muscles, resulting from heavy
exertion during extreme heat. Heat cramps usually occur when the heat index is
between 90 and 105 degrees. Although heat cramps are the least severe of all
heat-related health problems, they are often the first signal that the body is
having trouble coping with the heat and should be treated immediately with rest
and fluids. Stretching, gentle massaging of the spasms, or direct, firm
pressure on cramps can reduce pain. Seek medical attention if pain is severe or
- HEAT EXHAUSTION: Heat exhaustion occurs when
body fluids are lost through heavy sweating due to vigorous exercise or working
in a hot, humid place. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to
vital organs to decrease. Symptoms include: sweating, pale and clammy skin,
fatigue, headache, dizziness, shallow breaths, and a weak pulse.
Heat exhaustion should be treated with rest
in a cool area, sipping water or electroyte solutions, applying cool and wet
cloths, elevating the feet 12 inches, and further medical treatment in severe
cases. If not treated, the victim's condition may escalate to heat stroke. If
the victim does not respond to basic treatment, seek medical attention. Heat
exhaustion usually occurs when the heat index is between 90 and 105 degrees.
- HEAT STROKE: Heat stroke — also called
"sunstroke" — occurs when the victim's temperature control system,
which produces perspiration to cool the body, stops working. The skin is
flushed, hot and dry, and body temperature may be elevated. In fact, body
temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body
is not cooled quickly. The victim may also be confused, develop seizures,
breathe shallowly, and have a weak, rapid pulse.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related
illness and people exhibiting its symptoms should seek emergency medical
attention. Heat stroke usually occurs when the heat index is 130 degrees or
higher, but can occur when the heat index surpasses 105 degrees.