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Tips for beating the heat and staying cool as temps start to rise

Avoid alcohol, stay out of the sun, and check in on neighbors – here's how you can stay cool when the temps start to rise.

CONNECTICUT, USA — With warm weather hitting the 90s this upcoming weekend, you can take preventive steps to lessen the risk of heat-related illnesses. 

There are the standard tips we all remember: drink plenty of fluids, stay in dark and cool places as much as possible, and stay out of the sun. 

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However, there are additional steps you can do to ensure your safety and your friends, family, and neighbors' safety when it comes to hot weather:

  • Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids
  • Stay in air conditioning or dark, cool conditions when possible, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.
  • Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, as car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in just minutes under these conditions.
  • During periods of extreme heat, cooling centers are often opened up at the local level. These cooling centers provide a place to cool off for members of the community especially those most impacted by extreme heat.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay indoors
  • Watch for signs of dehydration (dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth)
  • Don’t leave pets outside
  • Don’t leave children or pets inside the car
  • Check on elderly neighbors

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According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), during 2004–2018, an average of 702 heat-related deaths (415 with heat as the underlying cause and 287 as a contributing cause) occurred in the United States annually.

“If you have to be outside, I would recommend staying hydrated with water, not with beer, not with coffee, not with anything else. Water is the best for you,” said Cynthia Price, MD, with Hartford Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “But we do not recommend drinking alcohol. It will internally deplete what you have and keep you dehydrated on the other side.”

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Price also said it is important to pay attention to your body. 

“If you’re starting to get dizzy, if you are starting to feel light-headed, sit down, get cool, wet your shirt, get in the breeze, get in the shade. The best thing to do once you get overheated is to become cool again,” Price said.

Here's more advice from the State of Connecticut:

If a city or town has opened a designated cooling center, United Way-211 lists the site location and hours on their website.

United Way- 211: Extreme Heat Cooling Centers 

To have your Cooling Center information added  or any changes made to current listings, please send your information to: info@ctunitedway.org

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