Health dept. urges residents to take precautions during excessive heat


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With temperatures expected to climb to potentially dangerous levels this weekend, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is urging residents to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses.

An Excessive Heat Warning has been issued for Saturday, with temperatures between 95-100 degrees and high humidity expected to create a heat index—or “feel-like” conditions—of up to 107 degrees.

“With the temperatures that are forecast for the next few days, people should be checking on each other, staying well-hydrated, limiting their exposure to the heat, and watching for signs of heat-related illness,” RIDOH Deputy Director Ana Novais said Thursday.

In addition to limiting the amount of time spent outside, health officials say to wear a hat, use sunscreen, pace your activity, stay hydrated, and check on those around you.

Residents should try to stay in air-conditioning when possible during the extreme heat. Click here for a list of cooling centers around the state.

RIDOH also says to drink more water than normal instead of waiting until you are thirsty. Sugary and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Residents can stay cool by wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing, as well as taking cool baths and showers. Also, avoid turning on the oven if possible to keep the temperature down inside your home.

Officials say young children and pets should never be left unattended in a car, even if the windows are rolled down.

If you or someone around you is experiencing heat exhaustion, first try to cool down and then seek medical attention if symptoms worsen. If there are signs of heatstroke (altered mental state, not sweating, nausea), call 911 immediately.

RIDOH suggests that residents with special health care needs should enroll in the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry so first responders in the area can better prepare for and respond to their needs in an emergency. Click here to learn more and to register.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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