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Tips for Staying Cool Amid This Week’s Heat Advisory

With severe heat expected in the coming days, we would like to share tips for residents to stay safe, cool, and healthy.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory valid from noon on Tuesday, June 18, to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 21. During this time, heat index values are expected to climb as high as 104 degrees. In Massachusetts, temperatures may reach a high of 96 degrees during the day, with not much relief during the overnight hours, as heat indexes are only expected to drop into the 70s. 

Local cooling station will be located in the public safety training room from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Even in short exposure periods, severe temperatures such as these can be extremely hazardous and at times fatal. According to the National Weather Service, approximately 1,220 people die each year from extreme heat. Despite the threat heat poses to the body, heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. 

To stay healthy and safe during the heat advisory, the department would like to offer the following tips from the National Weather Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Red Cross.

Heat Safety Tips:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Replace salt and minerals with snacks or a sports drink.
  • KEEP COOL – Spend as much time as you can in cooler surroundings. Use air conditioners to cool the air. Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during a heat advisory.
  • 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
    • Factors that may impact a person’s ability to cool off during a heat wave include age, weight, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. 
    • In particular, those over age 65 or under age two, people with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women are those at the highest risk during an extreme heat event. 
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. 
  • 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, which is typically around 3 p.m. 
  • Postpone or withdraw from outdoor games and activities if the temperature is too hot.
  • Use your stove less and try to cook your meals in the cooler part of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks if working outdoors. The CDC recommends workers performing heavy-duty work in 96-degree temperatures should work for 45 minutes and rest for 15.
  • Hot cars can be deadly. It is never safe to leave a child, disabled person, or pet in your vehicle. Cars can quickly reach 100-degree temperatures, leaving unattended passengers vulnerable to sudden heat-related illnesses.
    • Always leave your car locked when you are not using it, even in your own driveway. 
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water. Do not leave your animals outdoors unattended for more than 15 minutes. 
  • Parents should limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize themselves with the signs of heat illnesses. Any playground equipment or outdoor toy that is hot to the touch is too hot for a child to safely use. 

The department also reminds the community to remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of heat stroke, including:

  • A fever above 103 degrees
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Rapid, strong pulse 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness 
  • Fainting 
  • Confusion 
  • Nausea 

In case of heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Move the person into a cool place. Attempt to cool the body down using wet cloths, fanning, misting, or a cool bath. Do not give the person anything to drink.

Also, be on the lookout for the following symptoms of heat exhaustion: 

  • Heavy sweating 
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Fainting 
  • Dizziness

For more information about heat stroke and heat exhaustion from the CDC, click here

In case of heat exhaustion, move to a cool place, tighten any loose clothing, attempt to cool the body, and sip water slowly. Seek medical help immediately if vomiting occurs, symptoms last longer than an hour or get worse, or if confusion develops. 

Dial 911 in case of any severe illnesses or injuries.

The department would like to remind the community that maintaining health and safety during a heat advisory is everyone’s responsibility. Stay vigilant and keep an eye on yourself and those around you. Although the hot weather may seem like a great opportunity to spend time outdoors, keep in mind that heat-related illnesses can affect anyone if not taken seriously.