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Greenwich Health Dept. Warns of Heat Risks

The Greenwich Department of Health has issued a heat advisory for Wednesday and Thursday as temperatures and humidity soar.

All residents -- especially those who are young, elderly, have medical or mental health conditions, who use medications that impede body temperature regulation, without air conditioning or are socially isolated -- are encouraged to pay special attention to heat risks.

Wednesday night will be mostly clear with a low around 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service . Thursday may reach 95, and there is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Friday will be partly sunny with a high near 87 degrees, dropping to a low around 65 degrees by the evening.

For those without air conditioning, the health department suggests limiting time spent outside, spending time with family and friends who do, visiting Greenwich libraries, going to the movies, or visiting shopping malls to escape the heat.

Here are some heat risks and what to do about them:

• Heat stroke – Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call for emergency medical assistance immediately by dialing 9-1-1. If possible, move the person into a cool or air-conditioned environment.  Signs of heat stroke may include headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, high body temperature, difficulty breathing, rapid and strong pulse. Skin may be hot and dry or the person may be sweating.  Reduce body temperature with air-conditioning, fanning, water sponging and remove clothing if necessary. Avoid giving fluids.

• Heat exhaustion – This condition will give rise to heavy sweating, weakness and cool, pale clammy skin. The person may experience muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting. Although body temperature may be normal there will be a weak pulse. Move the person out of the sun into a cool environment and apply a cool wet cloth while they are lying down. Give sips of water until feeling better, however if vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

• Heat cramps – This condition will give rise to painful cramps and muscle spasms in the legs or abdomen. Heavy sweating may also be present. Move the person out of the heat into a cool environment and gently massage the cramping muscle. Give sips of water unless nausea occurs or there are fluid restrictions.

How are you staying cool during the heat wave? Comment below or send responses to ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com

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