WHITMAN — The Whitman Police and Fire Departments are reminding residents to take safety precautions during activities in hot weather, as temperatures are expected to be in the 90s later this week.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Plymouth County, including the Town of Whitman, beginning at 11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5. High temperatures and high humidity could potentially lead to dangerous conditions for residents, especially on Thursday when temperatures could climb to the upper 90s.
For residents looking to find relief from the heat on Thursday, the Whitman Public Library and Senior Center will be open regular business hours.
To prevent illness and injuries, the Whitman Police and Fire Departments recommend the following safety tips from the American Red Cross and National Safety Council:
• Drink plenty of fluids, like water, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages, drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.
• If you’re outside, find shade and minimize direct exposure to the sun.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 3 p.m.
• Avoid extreme temperature change and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
• Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
• For children, limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses. To avoid burns, if playground equipment is hot to the touch it is too hot for your child’s bare skin.
Heat safety tips for seniors
• Residents are encouraged to check on elderly family members and neighbors, especially those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.
• Heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration can be particularly dangerous for the elderly population.
For more information on how older residents can stay safe during extreme heat, helpful information is available from AARP.
Recognizing heat illnesses
Look for: heavy sweating during intense exercise; muscle pain or spasms. If you have heat cramps:
• Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
• Drink water or a sports drink
• Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
• Get medical help if cramps last longer than 1 hour, you’re on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems.
Look for: heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness; headache; fainting If you expect heat exhaustion:
• Move to a cool place
• Loosen your clothes
• Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
• Sip water
• Get medical help if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse or symptoms last longer than one hour
Look for: high body temperature (103°F or higher); hot, red, dry, or damp skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; passing out. f you expect a heat stroke:
• Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
• Move the person to a cooler place
• Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
• Do not give the person anything to drink
Learn more about heat illnesses at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html.