By the Niagara County Department of Health
High temperatures can cause serious heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses occur when the body is unable to properly cool itself through perspiration. People who are more susceptible to heat-related illness are young children, older adults, outside workers, and people with chronic medical conditions.
“With an increase in hot weather, it is important the community stays cool and hydrated,” Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said.
“Working with our partners, we have designated cooling centers, air-conditioned buildings, that can provide respite and safety during extreme heat to those in need,” added Jonathan Schultz, director of Emergency Services and fire coordinator. “We are especially grateful to Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino, Lockport Mayor Michelle Roman, North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas and the local fire chiefs for their support.”
When the temperature is very high, stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress properly and take breaks often.
Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illness
√ Drink plenty of water
√ Cool off in air-conditioned places (while remaining 6 feet apart from persons who do not reside in the same household and if separation is not possible wearing a cloth face covering)
√ Check on friends and neighbors at high risk for heat-related illness
√ Take cool showers or baths to beat the heat and help keep body temperatures at safe levels
√ Never leave kids or pets in a parked car for any amount of time; temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.
√ Limit time outdoors and take breaks often
√ Dress properly: hat, sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
Niagara County Cooling Center Locations
√ John A. Duke Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
√ Lockport Municipal Building: One Locks Plaza; go to Lockport Police for access
√ North Tonawanda Fire Department: Various volunteer fire stations throughout the city; call first – 716-693-2201
√ Towns and villages – reach out to your local volunteer fire company for access and availability for cooling centers
The Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries also offer cooling centers. For more information, visit www.buffalolib.org. Individuals must wear a mask and social distance.
“We encourage the community to stay informed on how to avoid, spot and treat heat-related illness,” Stapleton said.
The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke as it is a medical emergency, and 911 should be called immediately. Signs and symptoms include very high body temperature (above 103F); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; upset stomach; confusion; and passing out.
While waiting for medical assistance to arrive, move the person to a cool, shady place, and apply wet sponges. Wrapped ice packs may be placed on the neck, wrists, ankles or armpits to help cool the body.
Heat exhaustion is often caused by overexertion in hot or humid temperatures and can quickly lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, upset stomach or vomiting and fainting. Move the person to a cool place, loosen clothing and apply cool wet cloths to the neck, face and arms. Water can be given every 15 minutes. However, if the condition worsens, medical attention may be warranted.
For more information on extreme heat, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html. Stay up to date on local weather forecasts so you can prepare to enjoy a safe summer: https://bit.ly/2ADvSaa.