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The original item was published from 5/31/2013 1:59:34 PM to 9/10/2013 12:05:00 AM.

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Health News

Posted on: May 31, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Beat the Heat and Stay Safe this Summer

City of Norwalk Urges Residents to Stay Safe and Healthy in Extreme Heat

As temperatures rise this summer, City officials urge residents to protect themselves from extreme heat and recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. During heat waves, take precautions such as spending time each day in air conditioned places and checking on neighbors, the elderly, and disabled individuals.

Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash. These health effects occur primarily when temperatures are higher than 90°F and relative humidity is 60% or higher. Anyone can suffer from these illnesses, but some people are at higher risk, including the elderly; infants; persons with impaired mobility, psychological illnesses, alcoholism, or chronic diseases; and/or those taking diuretics, antipsychotic drugs, and anticholinergic drugs (muscle relaxants).

Heat Stroke

Symptoms of heat stroke include a body temperature of 105° F or higher; hot, dry, red spotted skin; mental confusion; loss of consciousness; and convulsions. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, and if you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately for medical help.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is due to the body losing 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

In addition to knowing the signs and symptoms and contacting a medical provider immediately for help, you can take many precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink lots of fluids (water, electrolyte-restoring beverages), even if you don’t feel thirsty
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Take frequent rest breaks
  • Wear light, relaxed fitting clothing
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine
  • Try to spend at least a few hours of the day in a cool environment. For example, public places that are likely to have air conditioning include libraries, shopping malls, movie theaters, and restaurants.

For more information, call the City of Norwalk’s customer service information line (203) 854-3200 or visit these online resources:

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