Air Quality Alert issued for Saturday alongside Excessive Heat Warning

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — Local officials and health experts have continued to offer the public valuable information on how to effectively beat the scorching heat that is expected this coming weekend.

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.

In addition, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has issued an Air Quality Alert with unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone anticipated. Residents can help reduce air pollutant emissions by reducing car travel and the use of small engines such as lawnmowers, according to the DEM.

In-Depth: Monitoring ozone levels and associated health risks for this weekend »

Health experts said staying hydrated is key in the excessive heat. They encourage people to drink plenty of water—even if you aren’t thirsty.

They also emphasized keeping a close eye on children and making sure they hydrate.

“If they start to get lethargic, they don’t want to do anything, they become very warm to the touch, if they’re sweating excessively, are some things we definitely want to keep an eye out for, but also if they become nauseous or start to vomit, then that’s a very bad sign,” explained Jason Rhodes, the chief of the R.I. Department of Health’s emergency services.

Other advice includes:

  • Dress in loose, light-colored clothing
  • Wear a hat if you go outside
  • Never leave children or pets in cars, even if the windows are down
  • Limit time outdoors for children and pets
  • Stay in air-conditioned rooms whenever possible

Taking these precautions can help you avoid heat exposure and heat stroke.

“If somebody has been out in the heat, in the sun for a long, long time and they’re not sweating—that’s a sign of a serious medical condition and they need to get medical help right away,” Tiverton Fire Capt. Bruce Reimels said.

“Heatstroke, they need to be cooled down immediately,” Rhodes added. “Ice packs to certain parts of the body where the arteries come to the surface are important, so your neck, your armpits and your groin. Ice is important, and also use fans.”

The city of Providence announced Friday that it would be extending the hours of its five public pools and 13 water play parks to 12-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The water parks will be open for those same hours on Sunday but the pools will be closed.

The Providence Flea canceled Sunday’s market due to the expected high temperatures.

In Pawtucket, city leaders will be providing free water and lemonade to residents from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the following locations:

  • The Veterans Memorial Park Pool through L&J Ice Cream
  • Len’s Hotdog Haven at Slater Park
  • Payne Park through Palagi’s Ice Cream and Lemonade
  • John Street Playground through Palagi’s Ice Cream and Lemonade

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