From family barbecues, to hiking and boating, to sitting on a sandy beach with a good book, summer is always a fantastic time to enjoy all that the Empire State has to offer.
But the summer months can also bring some potential dangers, especially as temperatures begin to rise. To help you stay safe during periods of excessive heat, the State Department of Health and the State Office of Emergency Management are offering the following safety tips:
• Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or other vehicles during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
• Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially the elderly, infants and young children, or others with special needs.
• Make sure there is enough water and food for pets and limit their exercise during periods of extreme temperatures.
• Minimize, if possible, strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun's peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Exercise during early morning hours or in the evening--when the temperatures tend to be lower.
• Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
• If possible, stay out of the sun and seek air-conditioned settings. The sun heats the inner core of your body, which may result in dehydration. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a building with air conditioning (such as libraries, malls, supermarkets, or friends' homes).
• When going outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor (SPF) rating of at least 15 and a hat to protect your face and head. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing, and cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
Always remember that heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion, can cause serious health problems -- especially for the elderly, infants and young children, people with respiratory ailments or chronic medical conditions, and those who work outdoors.
As families across New York look forward to a great summer season, let's all remember to take the appropriate steps to stay safe and keep cool when temperatures are high.