EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Southern New England is expected to see its first blast of summer heat this weekend, with temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s.

A Heat Advisory has been issued for parts of the area from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The Rhode Island Department of Health also announced an Air Quality Alert, meaning the air quality will reach unhealthy levels due to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone.

Rhode Islanders can help reduce air pollutant emissions by limiting car travel and the use of charcoal lighter fuels and small engines like lawn mowers.

With these conditions, it’s crucial to know how to stay healthy and safe. Heat-related illnesses can happen while spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in the sun.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, pale and clammy skin, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, and headache, according to the R.I. Department of Health. Seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour.

The R.I. Department of Health recommends checking on family, friends and neighbors during extreme heat, especially those at increased risk of illness, and offered the following tips:

When outside:

  • Stay out of the direct sun.
  • Try to stay in shaded areas.
  • Pace yourself when exercising.
  • Schedule outdoor events early in the morning, when it is cooler and the air quality is better.
  • Wear light-colored and light-weight clothing.
  • Wear a hat with a brim and wear sunscreen for protection.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

When inside:

  • Use air conditioning or fans, windows, and shades or curtains to keep your house cool.
  • Take cool showers or baths. Avoid cooking hot food indoors when the day is at its hottest.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Never leave a child, pet, or older adults in an unattended car during periods of extreme heat.

The R.I. Department of Environmental Management has decided to open both Scarborough North and Roger Wheeler state beaches this weekend.

For those heading to the beach, keep in mind that water temperatures in the bay are still in the upper 40s and low 50s, which is not suitable for swimming.

The UV index will be high, so be sure to protect your skin by wearing sun screen.

On Friday, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the city will be opening cooling centers to help residents beat the heat:

  • Mt. Pleasant Library: 315 Academy Ave.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. –1 p.m., 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    • (401) 272-0106
  • Rochambeau Library: 708 Hope St.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    • (401) 272-3780
  • Providence Public Library: 150 Empire St.
    • Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • (401) 455-8000

Visit the R.I. Emergency Management Agency’s website for a list of cooling centers around the state.

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