Staying Cool in Extreme Heat & Humidity; Those Most at Risk Encouraged to Take Necessary Precautions

Modified: August 12, 2016 4:40pm

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From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date August 12, 2016

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925


Staying Cool in Extreme Heat & Humidity

Those Most at Risk Strongly Encouraged to Take Necessary Precautions

ERIE COUNTY, NY — As Erie County continues to experience weather with both high temperatures and high humidity, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein reminds residents how extremely high temperatures can affect your health.


On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States. Anyone can become dehydrated,

“It is very easy to underestimate how seriously heat can affect people. It is important to remember during days of higher than normal temperatures to do your best to keep your body temperature cool. Stay in air conditioned spaces as much as possible, or find one if your home is not air conditioned. Do not rely on a fan to be your cooling device; take cool showers and baths as needed. Drink more water than usual, at least 6-8 glasses a day and more if you are active; do not wait until you are thirsty to do so. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks and remind others to do the same. Everyone should be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Burstein. but those most vulnerable are the elderly, people who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition. Excessive heat can lead to sunburn; heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 













  Signs include:

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

What to Do

Heavy sweating

Move to a cooler location

Weakness, Exhaustion, Dizziness

Lie down & Loosen clothing

Skin cool, pale, Clammy, Flushed

Apply cool, wet cloths

Weak Pulse

Sip water

Fainting, Vomiting, Nausea

Seek medical attention immediately if you have vomited and it continues

Heat Stroke

What to Do

High body temperature (above 103°F)

Call 911 immediately – this is a medical emergency

Hot, red, dry or moist skin

Move the person to a cooler environment

Rapid and strong pulse

Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or a bath

Possible unconsciousness

Do NOT give fluids


Burstein concluded: “Remember that the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions and the very young are especially susceptible to heat’s effects. Do not stay in parked cars, even with the windows cracked. Avoid direct sunlight when possible and drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Wear lightweight, loose, light colored clothing; remember a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF30; apply it generously at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply it every 2 hours—even on a cloudy day. Most importantly, check on family, friends and neighbors who fall into the most-at-risk category twice a day to ensure their continued wellbeing.”

infographicFor more information:        

Erie County Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New York State Emergency Management

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