Health & Environment

How to Stay Safe During a Heat Emergency

by Mary Wright, RN, health educator at North End Waterfront Health

During periods of extreme heat it is important that you find ways to stay cool and safe.

Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink fluids. Water is the best drink. It is important to avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar and caffeine.

Never leave anyone, including pets, in a car. Temperatures can rise as much as 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Anyone left in a car is at risk for heat stroke or even death.

Be sure to wear lightweight and light colored clothes that are loose fitting. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Sunburn can affect the body’s ability to cool itself. It can also cause your body to loose fluid.

Schedule any outdoor activities for early morning or evening hours. Pace yourself and rest often. If you have to be outdoors during the day, wear a hat and  sunglasses and stay in the shade as much as possible.

Stay indoors, especially during the hottest part of the day. Stay in air conditioning as much as possible. If you do not have air conditioning, go to a mall or other air conditioned spot. The cooling center for the North End is the Nazzaro Community Center located at 30 North Bennet St. For more information, you can call the center at 617-635-5166.

Be sure to check on those most at risk during a heat emergency. They include people over the age of 65, infants and children under four years of age, people who are ill or overweight and any one who does not have air conditioning.