Vermonters Reminded to Pace Yourself to Avoid Heat-Related Illness

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2011

Media Contact: Communication Office

Vermont Department of Health

802-863-7281

 

BURLINGTON – Temperatures in the upper 80s this weekend will be felt as extreme heat by Vermonters and Health Department officials want everyone to enjoy the summer, stay safe and avoid heat-related illness.

Many Vermonters, after enduring a long cold season and wet spring, will go full bore into the heat, which can cause a person to become lightheaded, weak or faint. A better strategy is to pace yourself, slow down, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and drink water to stay hydrated.

If you do get overheated outdoors, take a cool shower or bath, or move to an air-conditioned place or a lower floor of the house, out of the sun. While outside, use sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.

Infants and young children up to age four are extremely vulnerable to heat stroke, and even death, when left in a car even when the outside temperature is not especially hot. Infants and young children should never be left in a car alone for any amount of time, said Breena Holmes, MD, director of Maternal and Child Health.

People 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications are also at greater risk for heat-related illness.

“Anyone over the age 65 should be checked on at least twice a day and closely watched for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” said State Epidemiologist for Environmental Health Austin Sumner, MD. “People with health conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure, and developmentally disabled people who may not perceive the toll the heat is taking on them should also be watched.”

For more information on heat-related illness visit: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat.

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