Supervisor Urges Precautions During Heat Wave

August 6th, 2018 – Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter is reminding residents to take the necessary precautions during a heat wave in order to avoid heat stroke and illness. Meteorologists have issued a heat advisory throughout the Tri-State area.

“The frail elderly, children and animals are at a higher risk of heat stroke during a heat wave. I urge residents to follow the steps below to prevent falling ill in extreme temperatures. We want everyone to be in good health while enjoying the summertime,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Below are tips for the entire family on how to stay in good health during the heat wave. Please hold onto this important information and place it in a prominent place in your home:

  • Sign up for eAlerts to stay informed on all weather related news and important information in the Town of Islip.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

 

SENIORS ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO HEAT BECAUSE

  • Their bodies don’t adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat.
  • Prescription medicines can impair their body’s ability to regulate temperature or even prevent sweating.

 

WAYS FOR SENIORS TO STAY COOL IN HOT WEATHER

  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day (don’t rely on feeling thirsty!) and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat cooling snacks like homemade popsicles (with cupcake liner as drip catcher), frozen peas, or slightly frozen grapes.
  • Eat light, cold meals like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy, hot dishes like pot roast.
  • Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel.
  • Sit with feet in a pan of cool (but not too cold) water.
  • Keep the house as cool as possible by keeping shades closed during the hottest part of the day and using inexpensive solar curtains.
  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing in light colored cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing or adding layers.
  • Visit a public cooling center like a recreation center, senior center, library, coffee shop, or shopping mall. For a list of Town of Islip centers click here.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or washcloth wipe-down. For maximum cooling, keep the water just below body temperature.
  • Cover up with a flexible ice blanket – use a thin towel to keep the ice away from direct skin contact.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS

If you have young ones new to the outdoors, or you would like to take your baby for a walk in the stroller, be mindful of the time of day. The CDC recommends limiting outdoor activity to when it's coolest, like morning and evening hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) further cautions against outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Midday is a great time to instead head inside for lunch and a nap.

 

SUNSCREEN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

When you do go outside, make sure to generously apply sunscreen first. The CDC recommends an SPF of 15 or more (along with a hat and sunglasses) 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposures. The AAP recommends shade and adequate clothing as the first line of sun defense for babies under 6 months old, but even those little ones should get a small amount of sunscreen on areas like the face and the back of their hands.

 

DON’T USE BLANKETS AS SUN BLOCKERS

When the sun's rays are intense parents naturally look for ways to keep the sun off a baby's delicate skin, but experts warn the common practice of draping a blanket (even a very thin muslin one) over a stroller or car seat can increase a baby's temperature drastically. Instead of draping a blanket over the stroller, parents should make use of canopies that attach to the stroller but don't trap the heat, and should seek shade for the baby as much as possible.

 

KEEP EVERYONE HYDRATED

According to the World Health Organization, babies under 6 months old do not need water, but older children should be offered plenty on hot days, says the CDC. Bottle fed babies may require more frequent formula feeds in order to stay hydrated in the heat, and breastfeeding babies may want to nurse more than usual during hot weather. That means nursing mothers will need to make sure they’re well hydrated, too.

 

MAKE USE OF AIR CONDITIONING

The CDC recommends people make use of air-conditioned spaces as much as possible during heat waves. For those who don't have AC at home, a trip to the mall or a public library (especially during those really hot mid-day hours) can provide some relief and help your family keep cool even when you venture back out into the heat.

 

 

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