June 19, 2015
(Charlottesville, Va.) — With the daytime heat index expected to reach or exceed (100) degrees over the next couple of days, it becomes even more important that people follow recommendations to protect themselves from the extreme heat.
Extremely high or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.
One of the most important precautions people should take is to schedule or reschedule activities and outdoor work during the coolest parts of the day. In the summer, sunlight exposure is greatest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Here are additional steps you can take to protect yourself against heat-related illnesses:
- Keep cool in an air-conditioned area or take cool showers or a bath. When temperatures reach the upper 90s or above, a fan may not prevent heat-related illness.
- Drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine, and lots of sugar.
- Use sunscreen with a high SPF to avoid sunburn. Sunburn limits your body’s ability to keep itself cool and causes loss of body fluids. .
- Wear lighter-weight clothing that is loose fitting and light colored.
- Use a hat to keep the head cool.
- Limit physical activity to early morning and late evening hours until your body adjusts to the heat.
- Never leave children or pets in cars. Temperatures inside a car can reach more than 150 degrees quickly, resulting in heat stroke and death.
- Use the “buddy system” if you’re working outside. If you’re working outside and suffer a heat-related illness, you could become confused or could lose consciousness.
Emergency cooling centers will be open throughout the City of Charlottesville through Sunday, June 21. Each center will provide cool air and water free to the public.
- Carver Recreation Center – 233 4th St. NW in the Jefferson School City Center
Monday through Thursday open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Tonsler Recreation Center – 501 Cherry Avenue
Monday through Friday open 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (Central Branch) – 201 East Market Street
Monday through Thursday open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on extreme heat, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/weather/extremeheat.htm or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov/extremeheat.