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.
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.
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, 43, or 44.
Heat Safety Training
You can prepare for the summer heat by taking the new heat safety e-learning course, Heat Safety: Recognizing, Preventing, and Treating Heat-Related Illnesses.
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