REGION – The hottest air of the 2019 summer season so far is expected to impact Vermont and northern New York starting Friday and into the weekend. Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 80s to low-mid 90s with high humidity, making it feel like 100 degrees or more.
These conditions create a serious risk for dangerous and sometimes deadly heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke. The National Weather Service and Vermont health and emergency management officials want people to know how to stay safe as the thermometer climbs.
During hot weather, your body’s temperature control systems can have a hard time keeping up, and your temperature can get dangerously high. It’s important to drink more fluids than usual and to take extra breaks in the shade or cool indoor locations.
Certain people are at a higher risk of heat-related illness. People who work or exercise outdoors, as well as older adults, infants, and young children should take extra precautions. People who are overweight, have a chronic medical condition, are taking certain medications, or are using drugs or alcohol are also at special risk.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness − muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache or light-headedness. Most heat illnesses can be treated with fluids and by resting in a cooler place. If symptoms persist or get worse, or someone you are with seems confused or loses consciousness, dial 9-1-1 and get immediate medical help. Learn more about symptoms and first aid at www.weather.gov/safety/heat-illness.
During last summer’s six-day heat wave, four Vermont deaths were associated with the heat, and there were 15 times more heat-related emergency department visits than normal.
Tips for staying safe and healthy in hot weather
- Never leave children, people with disabilities, older adults, or pets in a closed vehicle.
- Drink plenty of water, or non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.
- Seek relief in air-conditioned spaces or other cool and shaded places.
- Check in on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are safe – especially those who live alone, have mobility issues or do not have air conditioning.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.
- Close window shades during the day. Keep windows closed when it is hotter outside than inside. Avoid using appliances and lights that generate heat.
- Keep an eye on your pets too, and make sure they have water and a cool place to rest.
Several communities are organizing places where the public can go to cool off. People can dial 2-1-1 for help finding a cooling center in their area.
Learn more about climate, heat and your health at www.healthvermont.gov/climate/heat.