“Extreme heat events are among the most dangerous natural hazards in the United States. It is imperative that we continue to check on our vulnerable friends, family, and neighbors as this heat wave continues,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “Safety in the heat is key, so remember to stay inside as much as possible, drink plenty of water, and contact a physician if you or a loved one is showing signs of heat stress.”
The latest weather forecast obtained by the health department is calling for hot and humid weather this afternoon as heat indices reach into the low 100s.
“When the Camden County Health Officer issues a Heat Health Emergency, municipalities are expected to follow their Heat Health Emergency protocols including opening up cooling centers to accommodate their immediate needs,” Rodriguez said. “Each town in Camden County has identified and is responsible for activating its own municipal cooling center. Please call your municipality for the location of the closest cooling center.”
To avoid heat-related illness, the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following:
- Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering. A wide-brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun, it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
- Use air-conditioners and fans. Open windows to release trapped hot air.
- Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
- Maintain a normal diet.
- Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
- Do not leave older people, children or pets alone in cars.
- Make sure your pets also have plenty of fresh drinking water.
- The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get to immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.