Today and the next two days are going to be excruciatingly hot with 'feels like' temperatures over 100 degrees.
The hottest times will be between 1pm and 5pm (picture below is for today).
Heat can creep up on you and cause harm so please take necessary precautions:
- Do what you can to stay inside, and stay cool. Minimize the amount of time you are outside during the hottest portions of the day. Especially young children and seniors.
- Stay hydrated. In weather like this, you are quick to lose your hydration so over compensate. Drink a lot of water based liquids. Minimize caffeine based liquids, and avoid alcohol based liquids which super charge dehydration.
- Avoid touching hot surfaces. That beautiful new asphalt on 14th street? They say asphalt heats up to 40-50 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Your dark colored car and dark leather / pleather seats that have been in the sun for a while? Be cautious when touching.
- Avoid outdoor exercise or heavy physical activity. This also goes for kids.
- If you have pets, keep your walks short and bring water for them on your walks. The same rules apply to them – keep them off the asphalt, keep them on concrete or grass surfaces, and make sure they are hydrated. If only they could talk.
As importantly, if you know of anyone who may not have air conditioning – especially our more vulnerable neighbors who are seniors or disabled – please check in on them and do what you can to make sure they have what they need to be comfortable, and more importantly, safe in this heat.
***Finally – if you are in a crisis or are aware of anyone in a crisis in need of help, please call 911 immediately.
Here is a good link I found (and summary below) about the three basic categories of heat illnesses, some contributing factors and what to do: Heat emergencies Information | Mount Sinai - New York
Types of heat emergencies – in order of severity
- Heat cramps / early stage – symptoms include muscle cramps, fatigue, thirst, very heavy sweating
- Heat exhaustion – cool moist skin, dark urine, lightheadness, headache, nausea, weakness
- Heat stroke – CALL 911 right away if you observe these symptoms. High fever, extreme confusion, seizures, lack of consciousness, rapid heart rate
What you CAN do at home / prior to the ambulance coming (if 911 was called)
- Have the person lie down in a cool place and raise the person's feet 12 inches.
- Apply cool, wet cloths, cold compresses or cool water directly to the person's skin, neck, groin and armpits.
- Use a fan to lower body temperature.
- If alert, give the person a beverage to sip including a sports drink, a salted drink or cool water.
- For muscle cramps, hydrate and massage affected muscles gently.
- If the person shows signs of shock (bluish lips and fingernails and decreased alertness), starts having seizures, or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.
What you SHOULD NOT do.
- DO NOT give the person medicines that are used to treat fever (such as aspirin or acetaminophen).
- DO NOT give the person salt tablets.
- DO NOT give the person liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine.
- DO NOT give the person anything by mouth (not even salted drinks) if the person is vomiting or unconscious.
Clearly, I am not a medical professional so the above information taken from the Mt. Sinai link is meant to provide some guidance. Contact your medical provider directly if you have any specific concerns or questions. But please take this heat seriously, and do what you can to minimize the risk of injury / illness to you, your family, your pets and your neighbors. We are all in this together!
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