CT DPH Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani Reminds Residents To Take Necessary Precautions During May Summer Heat Event

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HARTFORD, CT – With temperatures anticipated to approach 100 degrees this Saturday and Sunday, Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, is reminding individuals who will be spending time outside or in non-air-conditioned spaces to be cautious during periods of intense heat during the day.

“Typically, we do not see heat events like this in May—well before the start of summer,” Commissioner Juthani said. “This is alarming since people living in Connecticut have not had a chance to acclimate to hot weather and are therefore at a much greater risk from the effects of extreme heat.”

Over the weekend, residents should stay hydrated, take frequent breaks in cooler air-conditioned/shaded areas, and limit the time spent in direct sun. Additionally, more physical tasks should take place in the morning or evening, when the sun is less intense, and temperatures are cooler. Residents also should stay informed with town alerts and updates from their local health departments.

For those experiencing heat stress, call for medical assistance immediately!

Although anyone can be affected by heat-stress, those working outside are at a particularly high risk including:
• Older individuals (over 65 years of age) who may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature
• Those performing frequent high-exertion tasks (lifting, digging, walking) who may become dehydrated quickly and experience more intense heat stress
• Those who have underlying health conditions, especially heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or who take certain medications that put them at risk

Follow the steps below to stay cool and hydrated while working in the heat:

Stay Cool
Keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness.

• Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If you must work outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to the mornings and evenings.
• Avoid working in direct sunlight and wear lightweight, light-colored, and moisture-wicking clothing
• Check on family members, especially those most at risk often
• If you feel ill working in the heat notify a family member and stop working

Stay Hydrated
Because your body loses fluids through sweat, you can become dehydrated during times of extreme heat.

• Drink more water than usual; do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more liquids.
• Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
• Drink about four cups of water every hour while working outside
• Remind others to drink enough water

For more information about steps that employers and workers can take to reduce the risk of heat-related illness, contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Program at (860) 509-7740 or email dph.occhealth@ct.gov.

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