Rochester, N.Y. - Health experts advise people to take safety measures ahead of extreme heat Tuesday--temperatures are expected to reach around 95 degrees.
Mayor Tom Richards declared a Heat Emergency Tuesday. In addition to extended hours at pools and spray parks for Cool Sweep, cooling centers will also be open. For a list of locations, click here.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield urges people to stay safe, especially those who are 65 and older.
"Individuals with health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, could get sick or suffer from overheating even if temperatures don't reach the 90s," said Dr. Jamie Kerr, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Utilization Management for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. "Our aging bodies don't regulate heat as well and we're often not as aware of increasing temperatures until it's too late."
Dr. Kerr offers guidelines:
Check with the doctor. See if the person in question has a condition or takes medication that may influence heat-related illness. Sometimes patients are restricted as to how much they can drink and that's important to know in hot weather.
Drink liquids regularly. Depending on what the doctor has prescribed, make sure the person drinks appropriate liquids. Stay away from beverages with a lot of sugar or caffeine. They cause the body to lose more fluid. Do not wait for them to say they are thirsty. By the time they recognize the thirst, they are already fluid deprived. Individuals spending time in the sun should have two to four glasses of cool liquids.
Rest in a Cool Area. Individuals at risk should stay in a cool place and be checked on at least twice a day. Air conditioned areas are the best places to rest. If an air conditioning unit is not in the person's home, suggest they go to a mall or library. Electric fans are not sufficient as a solitary cooling device and, because they circulate warm air, they should not be relied on in a heat wave.
Take a cool shower or bath. Taking a shower or bath at room-temperature will allow an individual's body to cool. Placing a wet towel on their neck or forehead will also help regulate body temperature.
Wear light clothing. Individuals should be dressed in light-weight and light-colored clothing. The clothing should also be loose. If an individual complains of being cool from the air conditioning, offer a long-sleeved shirt.