Monday, July 21, 2014

Stay Cool This Summer

Be prepared for the heat and humidity with these Stay Cool Tips from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health:

  • Stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15).
  • Avoid working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • To prevent sunburn, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use drapes, shades, louvers or awnings in your home. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters the home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or visor, or use an umbrella for shade.
  • Slow down. Rest in the shade or a cool place every chance you get.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Maintain a normal diet.
  • Use air conditioners and fans. If you use a fan, make sure your windows are open to release trapped hot air.
  • Visit a friend with air conditioning or go someplace cool like a mall, library, or senior center.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Read your medication labels. Some medications can cause an adverse reaction in hot weather. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you need more information.
  • Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat. 

For more information on how to beat the heat this summer, visit the Excessive Heat page.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Signs of Heat Stress

When it’s hot, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health wants you to watch out for these signs of heat stress.

Warning Signs of Heat Stress
If you see these warning signs, get the person to a cool place, remove extra clothing and give the person water.

  • Decreased energy.
  • Loss of appetite, nausea
  • Lightheadedness, feeling faint
  • Heavy Sweating

Serious Signs of Heat Stress
If you see these serious signs of heat stress, call 9-1-1. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area. Remove extra clothes. Use water and a fan to cool the person.

  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Throbbing headache.
  • Dry skin (no sweating).
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Confusion, anger, fighting.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Unconscious or unresponsive.

Monday, July 7, 2014

When It's Hot, Be a Buddy

Excessive heat can cause health problems, especially for older people, infants, young children and people with certain medical conditions. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommends that you “Be a Buddy” by checking on your family, friends and neighbors that may be susceptible to the heat.

Be a Buddy by:

  • Checking if there is air conditioning.
  • If there is no air conditioning, use a fan in or next to a window.
  • Do not use a fan in a closed room without open windows or doors.
  • Make sure there is enough water to drink.
  • Make sure the person wears light-weight, light colored and loose clothing to stay cool.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Celebrate the Fourth of July Safely

Many Fourth of July celebrations include a tasty barbecue and an exciting fireworks display. While these events are great fun, it's important to practice safety around the grill and around fireworks. The following are safety tips from the Philadelphia Fire Department. 

BBQ Grill Safety Tips:
  • Propane and charcoal grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide. 
  • When in use, grills should be at least 15 feet from any structure and at least 3 feet from any combustible materials. 
  • When purchasing a grill, select one that bears the approval mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Make a thorough inspection of the grill before each use. For propane grills, pay particular attention to connections and hoses. Look for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. 
  • Replace any damaged or corroded propane tanks.
  • Never store spare propane cylinders under or near a grill or inside the home.
  • Always store propane cylinders upright. 
  • Do not transport propane cylinders in the trunk of a passenger vehicle. 
  • Children should never be allowed to start outdoor cooking equipment. 
  • Allow lighter fluid to penetrate charcoals for 5-10 minutes before lighting, this creates a smaller, controlled flame. 
  • Once a fire has been started, never add starter fluid. Fire may follow the stream of fluid back to the container, causing an explosion and scattering flaming liquid.
  • Never use gasoline to start your fire. 
  • Keep a small spray can of water handy to douse flaming grease.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking. 
  • Always turn off valves when not in use. 
  • Use caution in disposing of the ashes. Ashes may contain live coals, which can start a fire. The safest method is to wet ashes thoroughly with water before emptying the grill. 
Fireworks Safety Tips:
  • The only legal fireworks for sale or use in Philadelphia are sparklers.
  • Even though sparklers are legal, they can produce hot sparks and the temperature of a sparkler can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Children using sparklers must be supervised by adults.
  • Children should be taught at an early age that all fireworks are dangerous.
  • Children should be instructed never to pick up fireworks they find and to call an adult if they find fireworks.
  • The Philadelphia Fire Department suggests that you leave fireworks in the hands of the professionals.