Abrahams Encourages Residents to Remember a Few Safety Tips to Prevent Heat-Related Health Risks

With hot temperatures forecasted, Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) and the Nassau County Department of Health remind residents that seniors, small children, people with chronic illnesses, those on certain medications or drugs (especially tranquilizers and anticholinergics), and persons with weight and alcohol problems are particularly susceptible to heat reactions, especially during warm and humid weather. If you know anyone with one of these conditions, call or visit them during a heat wave, especially if they live alone.

“Everyone enjoys the warm weather and sunny skies of summer in Nassau County,” Abrahams said. “With our beaches, parks, natural preserves and golf courses, however, there are ample opportunities to get too much sun. I strongly encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure that their summer is not only fun, but healthy as well.”

Symptoms of heat-related illness may include: headache, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low pulse rate, disorientation, unconsciousness or convulsion. Other symptoms may include cold, pale and clammy skin or hot, flushed dry skin.

If any person experiences heat stroke or exhaustion, get medical help immediately.  

The following are some heat-related safety tips that can help you avoid heat related illness:

Slow Down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.

Dress for summer. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.

Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.

Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.  Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease or (2) are on fluid restrictive diets or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult their physician before increasing their consumption of fluid.

Do not drink alcoholic beverages.

Spend more time in air conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air-conditioned environment like a shopping mall affords some protection.

Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.