As sweltering temperatures hit New York this week just in time to usher in the official start to summer, reports are flying left and right for excessive heat warnings for the coming week. With this temperature rise, the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat stress, heatstroke, and dehydration increases significantly.

What to Expect

According to weather reports, New York is set to experience temperatures ranging from 88 to 90 degrees throughout the week. With high humidity levels, these temperatures may feel even hotter, posing a significant health risk to both outdoor workers and anyone who spends or is planning to spend a significant amount of time outside.

Most Vulnerable Individuals

Young children and infants are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses and fatalities because they're not able to adapt to heat as well as adults. Elderly individuals, especially those with existing health conditions, taking specific medications, living alone, or having limited mobility, may experience multiple health problems when exposed to extreme heat.

Individuals with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of experiencing severe health issues during a heatwave compared to those in good health. Pregnant women are also more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat. Heat events have been linked to negative birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, infant mortality, and congenital cataracts.

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

The good news is that there are simple and effective steps you can take to help avoid heat illness.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, even before you feel thirsty. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, or high sugar levels, as they can dehydrate you.

Pace Yourself: Take it easy during the hottest times of the day and reduce your physical activity, especially during the early afternoon.

Stay Cool: Remain in an air-conditioned location, avoid direct sunlight, wear light-colored and loose clothing, and take frequent breaks in the shade.

Check on Others: Keep an eye out for people who may struggle with heat exhaustion, such as the elderly, young children, people with chronic illnesses, and those who work outside.

Use Cooling Methods: Take cool showers, stay in air-conditioned locations, or use a cool compress to lower your core body temperature.

Know the Signs: Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which include dizziness, nausea, headache, clammy skin, and exhaustion. If experiencing these symptoms, move to a cool location, drink cool fluids, and seek medical attention if required.

Keep in mind that it is worth taking necessary precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses that could put you and your loved ones in danger. By staying hydrated, keeping cool, and monitoring your physical activity, you can still enjoy the warm weather but without any risks of heat illnesses.

Cooling Centers in Broome County

According to the New York State Department of Health, these are the cooling centers in Broome County, along with their contact information and hours of operation.

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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