Fire Chief Christopher Coleman reminds residents to take safety precautions during activities during hot weather, especially those that take place outdoors.
Extreme heat is a prolonged period of very hot weather, which may include high humidity. In Massachusetts, a heat wave is usually defined as a period of three or more consecutive days above 90 degrees. Temperatures are currently forecast to be in the 90s Tuesday-Sunday. Humidity levels above 50 percent are also expected multiple days this week. A heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., July 20.
With the anticipated heat this week and the four-day Kids Day Event, the middle school gym will be opened as a cooling center for anyone visiting the carnival or any town resident needing a cool place. Additionally, there will be mobile cooling tents and misting tents at the event.
North Attleboro Middle School Gym Cooling hours include:
- Wednesday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Thursday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Friday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To enter the gym, use the main doors of the middle school into the lobby.
Heat Safety Tips
- Drink plenty of fluids, like water, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages, drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.
- If you’re outside, find shade and minimize direct exposure to the sun.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 3 p.m.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
- Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Additional tips for parents:
- Limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses.
- Avoid burns. If playground equipment is hot to the touch, it is too hot for your child’s bare skin.
Recognizing heat illnesses
- Look for: heavy sweating during intense exercise; muscle pain or spasms
- If you have heat cramps:
- Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
- Drink water or a sports drink
- Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
- Get medical help if cramps last longer than 1 hour, you’re on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems
- Look for: heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness; headache; fainting
- If you expect heat exhaustion:
- Move to a cool place
- Loosen your clothes
- Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
- Sip water
- Get medical help if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse or symptoms last longer than one hour
- Look for: high body temperature (103°F or higher); hot, red, dry, or damp skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; passing out
- If you expect a heat stroke:
- Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
- Move the person to a cooler place
- Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
- Do not give the person anything to drink