2013 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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July 15, 2013        Print version


Stay Cool and Healthy during the Heat Wave

Poughkeepsie…Hazy, Hot, and Humid has been used to describe the Hudson Valley weather in recent days, and with more high temperature days in the forecast, Dutchess County Department of Health reminds residents to “Stay Cool and Beat the Heat.”

“Heat stroke and dehydration are serious heat-related conditions and can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly, very young children and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or lung conditions,” said Kari Reiber, MD, Acting Commissioner of Health. “Heat stroke symptoms include hot, dry skin, shallow breathing, rapid, weak pulse and confusion. Those suffering from heat stroke should receive immediate medical treatment.”

Dr. Reiber recommends the following safety tips to prevent against heat-related illnesses:

  • Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day.

  • Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids, at least two - four glasses per hour, even if you don't feel thirsty. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and avoid caffeine and large amounts of sugar, these can cause your body to lose fluids. Also, avoid very cold drinks as they can cause stomach cramps.

  • Get out of the heat. Spend more time in air-conditioned places. If your home is not air-conditioned, stay on the lowest floor of your home, keep the window shades or blinds closed to block the sun, or go to an indoor space with air conditioning, such as the library, mall, or a friend’s home.

  • Dress for summer. Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps the body maintain normal temperatures.

  • Don't get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation much more difficult for the body. Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and put on a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

  • Check on others who may be more vulnerable to the heat. Very young children need your help to ensure they stay safe in the heat. Take the time to check in on an elderly neighbor who may be have difficulty with the heat conditions.

  • Don’t forget your pets! If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet as well. Be sure your pet has plenty of cool, fresh water and a shady place to stay out of the heat. Don’t leave pets in the car, even with the window cracked.

Additional Resources:

NY State Hot Weather Advice
Keep Your Cool During Summer Heat sheet | (Spanish)
National Weather Services heat info

 

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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