With temperatures expected in the mid-90s over the next few days, the Putnam County Department of Health is issuing an advisory and urging all residents to take proper precautions to protect themselves from the heat.
Staying cool and hydrated is key to staying healthy during a heat wave. Choose lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing; schedule outdoor activities for the morning or evening when it is cooler; and stay in air conditioning as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, a cool shower or bath can help, or visit a cooling center for more extended relief.
In Putnam County, two public spaces are currently open with air conditioning and can offer a break from the high temperatures. The Mahopac Library at 668 Route Six in Mahopac, and the Kent Town Hall at 25 Sybil’s Crossing in Kent Lakes, offer air-conditioned space for residents. The library telephone number is 845-628-2009 and the best number for the Kent Town Hall is 845-225-3943 (An alternate number is 845-225-2067.) Kent Town Hall is planning to be open Tuesday, June 29 through Thursday, July 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents may wish to call ahead to ensure there are no last-minute changes.
Other important precautions include never leaving children or pets in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down. Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks and drink plain water or sports drinks, which can help replace salt and minerals lost during heavy sweating. Those with chronic health conditions or special diets are advised to speak to their healthcare provider about how to stay hydrated during extreme heat. It is also helpful to check in with elderly relatives and neighbors, as they tend to be at higher risk in hot weather.
Heat stroke, heat exhaustion or heat cramps are all related illnesses that increase as temperatures rise. Heat stroke is the most serious and requires emergency medical care. Signs of heat stroke include a body temperature of 106°F or higher, confusion, slurred speech, nausea, dizziness, and red, hot, dry, or damp skin. If any of these symptoms occur, call 911 immediately and move the individual to a cooler location. Lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath.
Heat exhaustion is a less severe heat-related illness. Symptoms are cold, pale, clammy skin, heavy sweating, headache, dizziness, fainting, nausea, and muscle cramps. A person with heat exhaustion should move to a cooler location, sip on water, and apply cool cloths or take a cool bath. If symptoms continue for more than an hour, get medical help right away. Heat cramps can occur in the arms, abdomen or legs. Treatment includes rest and drinking water. Again, if symptoms continue for more than an hour, get medical help.
For more information about staying healthy in hot weather, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com, or visit our social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PutnamHealthNY.