Exposure to excessive heat is dangerous and can lead to heatstroke — a medical emergency. Internal body temperatures can rise to levels that may cause irreversible brain damage and death. Children, older adults, and individuals with behavioral health conditions (especially those who are taking psychotropic medications or using certain substances) are at a higher risk for heatstroke and heat-related illnesses. These medications and substances can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate heat and an individual’s awareness that their body temperature is rising.
NEW: HEAT SAFETY RESOURCES FOR 2021
The DBHIDS HEAT SAFETY POLICY includes Philadelphia heat safety resources, links to a heat-safety eLearning course for provider agency and DBHIDS staff, other training materials, handouts, posters, and heat safety checklists. Click to view 2021 DBHIDS Heat Safety Policy.
eLEARNING COURSE FOR DBHIDS PROVIDER AGENCY STAFF AND DBHIDS STAFF can be accessed via the DBHIDS Learning Hub. The course is located in the Electives folder. Instructions for creating a Learning Hub account are here (non-DBHIDS employees) should they be needed. If you already have an account, please do not create a new one. If you have an issue with logging into the eLearning course, please contact: DBHIDS.LearningHub@Phila.gov. If you have any questions about the heat safety policy requirements, please contact your DBHIDS representative. Certificates will be available after eLearning course completion via the DBHIDS Learning Hub. See pages 1 and 2 of the Heat Safety Policy for further information about staff training. Click for eLearning course.
Tips to Beat the Heat
Eight glasses a day will keep you hydrated.
They cause your body to lose water.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing and a hat during peak sunlight. Use sunblock of SPF 30 or greater.
Have a friend or neighbor check on you twice a day during heat waves.
Take cool showers
If you don’t have air conditioning, seek it out at a friend’s house or the mall. If you can’t get out, stay on a lower floor where it’s cooler and open the windows. Take cool showers.
If you experience high fever, flushed face, throbbing headache, confusion, little or no perspiration, rapid pulse—seek medical help.
Who to Contact
If a Medical Emergency (e.g. fever, panting, disorientation, profuse or lack of sweating), call 911 immediately.
During an official heat emergency/ warning, contact the PCA Heatline at 215-765-9040.
During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., contact the Environmental Health Services Unit (EHS) of the Philadelphia Health Dept at 215-685-7342.
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