Camden County submitted the following news release:
The Acting Camden County Health Officer, Dr. Michael DeShields, has issued a Heat Alert for Camden County from noon until 8 p.m. today, July 17, and for Wednesday, July 18, effective noon to 8 p.m. Residents should contact their municipality for the location of their local cooling center.
“When the Camden County Health Officer issues a Heat Alert, municipalities are notified that it would be appropriate to open municipal cooling centers to the public. Each municipality in Camden County has identified and is responsible for activating its own municipal cooling center,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “Please remember to check on elderly relatives and neighbors during the heat emergency, and do not over exert yourself outdoors in the sun.”
The State Department of Health and Senior Services is warning that ozone levels are forecast to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category across New Jersey. Ozone levels are rising due to west/southwest winds, mostly sunny skies, and hot temperatures. Sensitive individuals including the very young, the elderly, and persons with respiratory diseases such as asthma, should avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the afternoon and early evening hours. In addition, fine particles are forecast to reach the moderate category across the state.
To avoid heat-related illness, the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following:
- Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering. A wide-brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun, it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
- Use air-conditioners and fans. Open windows to release trapped hot air.
- Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
- Maintain a normal diet.
- Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
- Do not leave older people, children or pets alone in cars.
- The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get to immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.