With the City of Brotherly Love experiencing broiling temperatures through the end of the day tomorrow, it’s important to know how to stay cool. What’s that mean, you might ask? Translation: it’s really hot – the kind of hot that can make you sick if you aren’t careful. There’s an official Excessive Heat Warning in effect, with high temperatures estimates at 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above through the weekend.
Special types of people have to be more cautious about hot weather than others. With that in mind, The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is extending its Heatline through Tuesday, August 16. The Heatline, phone number 215-765-9040, is staffed with experts who can give you tips on how to prevent heat-related illness and identify symptoms of heat-related stress. Nurses from the Philadelphia Public Health Department are available to talk as well, so there’s no excuse not to call if the weather has you feeling sick.
The elderly aren’t the only ones who need special consideration when it’s extra-hot outside. Very young children (those under 5 years old) are vulnerable to it as well, along with the overweight, IV drug users, very active people, those who work in hot conditions, people who take certain types of medication that are heat-sensitive, and those who have suffered from heat-related illnesses before.
Heat-related illness comes in different levels of intensity. First, there are heat cramps, which are muscle pains and spasms that often occur during excessive physical activity. Unless you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, heat spasms can be treated with some cooling-off and stretching. Next comes heat exhaustion, and then heatstroke. The latter of these two conditions can result in death.
To combat the swelter, the city has opened cooling centers and spray grounds where the public can go and get a reprieve from the hot weather. Find out more about these locations here. You can also check out community pools and have some fun splashing around or swimming laps while staying cool. Just watch out for signs of sunburn – it can happen quickly when the sun is this intense.