Health
2:00 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot?

In Pittsburgh, it's rare that heat reaches a point of danger, but the Allegheny County Health Department is advising the public to be sure to stay cool and hydrated during the next several days because the temperature will be reaching 90┬║ F and above.

Health Department Director Ronald Voorhees said certain people, such as the elderly, those with heart and lung conditions, or others engaging in outdoor activity, may be especially prone to heat exhaustion or stroke.

"We recommend that people who are at risk for problems with heat certainly take extra care to make sure that they're staying hydrated and as cool as possible, just to make sure that they don't get into having physical problems with the heat."

He said that symptoms like dry skin, fever and nausea are all things to be aware of during the summer months. Voorhees recommends getting to a place like a community center, mall or another house that has air conditioning.

"Fans are certainly helpful to a point, but once it gets into the nineties we recommend such things as taking a cold bath or shower if people don't have air conditioning," Voorhees said.

Voorhees also said to drink more fluids than normal in order to prevent dehydration, but recommended non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, because caffeine can make dehydration worse.

There's more to just keeping cool and hydrated though.

"Certainly any day that's hot or a sunny day, which we're getting more of this year, people need to be sure not to leave kids or pets in a vehicle," Voorhees said. "It can really get much too hot and it can cause real damage. It can even kill a child or pet."