Rhode Islanders Reminded About Heat Precautions
In advance of the heat expected this weekend, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is reminding all Rhode Islanders about safety tips to keep themselves healthy and safe.
Normally, when you get hot, your body cools itself by sweating. But when it is very hot and humid, sweating isn’t enough, and your body temperature can rise very quickly. High temperatures can cause heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps. Certain populations are at increased risk for heat-related illness during periods of extreme heat. These populations include babies and young children, older adults, and people who work outdoors.
When you are outside during extreme heat:
- Stay out of the direct sun.
- Try to stay in shaded areas.
- Pace yourself when you exercise.
- Schedule outdoor events early in the morning, when it is cooler and the air quality is better.
- Wear light-colored and light-weight clothing.
- Wear a hat with a brim and wear sunscreen for protection. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
When you are inside during extreme heat:
- Use air conditioning or fans, windows, and shades or curtains to keep your house cool.
- Take cool showers or baths. Avoid cooking hot food indoors when the day is at its hottest.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Never leave a child, pet, or older adults in an unattended car during periods of extreme heat.
Watch for warning signs:
Check on friends, family, and neighbors during periods of extreme heat. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting, tiredness; dizziness; headache. If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place; put a cool, wet cloth on their body; have them sip water. Call medical help if symptoms get worse or last longer than one hour.
Some cities and towns have cooling centers open to those who need shelter during periods of extreme heat. To find a cooling center near you, call 2-1-1 or visit: https://riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/resources-businesses/cooling-centers
For more information, see RIDOH’s page on Extreme Heat https://health.ri.gov/healthrisks/extremeheat/ or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page on Extreme Heat https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html