Tips to avoid heat illness during the pandemic

With the Hudson Valley under the grip of a possible heat wave, people are doing all they can to keep cool.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2020, 10:10 AM

Updated 1,408 days ago


Trying to stay cool in the middle of a pandemic comes with extra challenges as many places people normally go to cool off are not available or are limited.
For example, while some pools in the Hudson Valley are now open, there are restrictions on the number of people who can use them at a time and different sessions are set up to allow for sanitizing. Lots of folks hit the local beaches over the weekend, trying to beat the heat, but those capacities are also limited.
In Harrison, officials say they two pools have been packed the past few days, and they expect that to be the case during this heat wave especially now that more people are starting to come to swim. "When we opened July 1, people were reluctant to come out, now I feel they're a lot more comfortable to come out because they see the precautions that we are taking as well as other pools around the county and have to take," says Harrison Mayor/Supervisor Ron Belmont (R).
Luckily malls in our area are now open, the JV mall in Yorktown Heights opens today.
Unfortunately, movie theaters are still closed and while some libraries are open, visitors are not able to stay for hours at a time due to limited capacity.
Medical experts say it's important to be smart and don't let yourself get overheated when we're dealing with this type of heat and humidity "Make sure you stay hydrated...drink lots of water, try to get in the shade as much as possible," says AJ Briones, of Empress Emergency Medical.
The brutal temperatures carry the risk of heat exhaustion which can lead to life-threatening heat stroke if it's left untreated.
Medical experts say there are some warning signs you should be on the lookout for, which include:
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
Steps to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
  • Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothing
  • Wear sunscreen to protect against sunburn
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Limit your activities during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Take off masks if you have trouble breathing
If you think you have heat exhaustion, experts say get medical help immediately.  Officials are also warning residents not to  forget their pets since the heat can be dangerous for them as well. They recommend keeping them inside, making sure they have access to water, wetting them down and not leaving them unattended in cars.

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