Learn how to avoid heat exhaustion!
Many reports have predicted a heat wave in the coming days, including several possible sever thunderstorms. A heat wave is defined as a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries, and usually lasts for at least three days consecutively. This can be a damaging time for your health if you do not take the proper precautions.
A recent announcement from the Montclair Health Department stressed the importance of staying cool during the heat wave: “Excessive heat events are dangerous and conditions can be life-threatening. Be sure that you and your family members stay cool and hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you have air-conditioning, use it. If you do not, seek air-conditioned buildings during the heat of the day, such as public libraries and bookstores, malls, movie theaters and the Montclair Municipal Building.”
Here are some quick tips that were also provided by the Health Department:
- Use air conditioning or spend time in air-conditioned locations
- Take a cool bath or shower
- Minimize direct exposure to the sun
- Limit your time outdoors as much as possible; take frequent breaks if you must be outside
- Stay hydrated – drink water or nonalcoholic fluids
- Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes
- Check on your neighbors, friends and family members – especially those who are older and /or with health issues
- Do not leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows rolled down, even for a few minutes.
Extreme heat can impact anyone, but some people are at higher risk than others. Those who are at higher risk than others include the elderly, the very young and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. Some warning signs of heat-related illnesses vary but can include the following: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability unless immediately treated.
Symptoms of heat stroke include an extremely high body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot and dry skin; rapid breathing; racing heart rate; headache; nausea; confusion and unconsciousness. If heat stroke is suspected, call 911 immediately.
Some good places to quickly seek relief from the heat include the Montclair Public Library, Township Council Chambers, book stores, cafes and malls. For additional information contact the Health Department at 973-509-4970.