Monday, June 9, 2008

City to Open Two "Cooling Centers" Tuesday

From the City press office:

"CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The temperature in the Charlottesville area hit records once again today with some readings downtown exceeding 100 for the second day in a row. Both Martha Jefferson Hospital as well as the University of Virginia Hospital have reported new patients arriving with heat-related illnesses this afternoon. According to the State Health Department, there have been three deaths associated with the heat wave in Virginia.

Because of the increased health risk to our residents, the City will open up two “cooling centers” at area recreation centers to aid residents without adequate air conditioning or shelter. Tonsler Park and Carver Recreation Centers will open up at 9:00am and can be accessed by any city resident for water or cooling during this heat wave. Residents are not advised to use Key Center as a Cooling Center which, due to mechanical failure of air conditioning equipment, will not supply adequate shelter to be considered a “cooling center”. Conditions are expected to improve on Wednesday and the City will reassess the need tomorrow afternoon as conditions warrant.

The City once again offers the following tips to stay health during this heat wave:

The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

• Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

• Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

• NEVER leave anyone or any pet in a closed, parked vehicle.

• Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: Infants and young children , people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

• Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

• Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

• Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.

• Try to rest often in shady areas.

• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels)."

1 comment:

hymes said...

Having one of the many mental illnesses in the DSM does not make folks more susceptible to heat, it is the medications that some people with some mental illnesses take that make folks vulnerable to the heat. It would be nice not to lump "people with mental illness" into one large undifferentiated group as it is as varied a group as people with stomach problems is and lumping together tends to "other" and depersonalize people with mental illnesses.