We are in the second heatwave of June 2021: today until June 30th, Boston will be 96 degrees or higher. Heat this high can be dangerous for people of all ages, and especially our elderly loved ones. The city of Boston declared a heat emergency beginning Monday, June 28, through Wednesday, June 30. Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) cooling centers will be open Monday through Wednesday, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Please be sure you drink between 30-50 ounces of water — that’s at least two standard-size water bottles. Once you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Check-in on older family members and neighbors — try bringing them a bottle of water or some cold popsicle treats.
For those of you who don’t like to drink water here are a few suggestions:
- Put lemon, lime, cucumbers, or mint in the water
- Water infused with electrolytes
- Fresh Watermelon
The state of Massachusetts has also released these Extreme Heat Safety Tips, and we encourage you to review their details on heat related illnesses, which we’ve posted below. Keep an eye out for these signs in yourself and your loved ones.
Types of Heat-related Illnesses
During extreme heat, people are susceptible to three heat-related illnesses. Learn how to recognize and respond to them:
- Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms caused by heavy sweating.
- Symptoms: Muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen
- Treatment: Get the person to rest in a comfortable position in a cooler place. Give the person water or fluids with electrolytes help them rehydrate.
- Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people overexert themselves in a warm, humid place, and often affects those doing strenuous work in hot weather. Body fluids are lost through heavy sweating and blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to vital organs to decrease. This results in a form of mild shock.
- Symptoms: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, nausea, dizziness, headache, weakness, and/or exhaustion
- Treatment: Get the person to rest in a comfortable position in a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. If the person is conscious, give them half a glass of cool water or fluids with electrolytes every 15 minutes, making sure the person drinks slowly. Watch the person carefully for changes in his or her condition and call 9-1-1 if it doesn’t improve.
- Heatstroke is the most serious heat emergency and is life-threatening. Heatstroke develops when systems in the body begin to stop functioning due to extreme heat. Heatstroke may cause brain damage or death if the body is not cooled quickly.
- Symptoms: Extremely high body temperature, hot and red skin (dry or moist), loss of consciousness, changes in level of responsiveness rapid and weak pulse, rapid and shallow breathing, vomiting, confusion, and/or seizures
- Treatment: A person suffering from heatstroke needs immediate assistance. Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Immerse the individual in a cool bath, wrap in cold wet sheets, or cover the person in bags of ice.
Stay safe out there!!