This summer, the Health Department wants you to stay safe and healthy. Know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and protect yourself from extreme heat. Anyone can suffer from heat illnesses, but some people are at higher risk, including the elderly, infants, and people with impaired mobility or chronic diseases. During heat waves, keep yourself safe and check on vulnerable friends and neighbors.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat illness. It can occur when you are exposed to high temperatures for a long time, often when you are dehydrated. Symptoms of heat stroke include a fever (105° F or higher); hot, dry, red spotted skin; confusion; loss of consciousness; and convulsions. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately for medical help.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses too much fluid. Symptoms include dizziness, weakness, fatigue, headache, and nausea. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can lead to heat stroke, so if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, call 911 for medical attention. Do not give salt tablets to someone who has these symptoms, because they could cause harm.
Preventing Heat Illnesses
You can take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses:
- Drink lots of water (even if you don’t feel thirsty)
- Avoid strenuous activities, and/or take frequent rest breaks
- Wear light, loose fitting clothing
- Do not consume alcohol or caffeine
- Try to spend at least a few hours of the day in a cool environment. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, public places like libraries, shopping malls, movie theaters, and restaurants are likely to be cool. During heat waves, City Hall and Norwalk Public Libraries will serve as cooling centers.
For more information on cooling centers, call the City of Norwalk’s customer service information line (203) 854-3200. To learn more about how to be safe during extreme heat, visit online resources from the Environmental Protection Agency
, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, or check out this infographic
from the CDC.