Concord, NH – With the forecast for the week predicted to be 90 degrees and
above for many regions of the State, the New Hampshire Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS) is reminding people to take precautions to avoid
heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat
exhaustion. In an effort to help people seek relief from the heat, cooling
centers have been opened around the State. To find out if there is a
cooling center near you, call 211. People are reminded they can also seek
relief in air conditioned places such as a mall, grocery store, movie
theater or library.
“Heat-related illnesses can come on quickly,” said NH Public Health
Director Dr. Jose Montero, “and we may not even recognize the symptoms.
There are some simple common-sense precautions to take to keep yourself and
your family safe during extended periods of heat. This is especially
important for children and seniors who are more at risk for heat-related
illnesses. Whenever possible stay inside air-conditioning, drink plenty of
fluids – water is best, avoid caffeine and alcohol and large amounts of
sugar, wear light clothing and limit outdoor activities during the hottest
part of the day.
When the body is unable to cool itself sufficiently by sweating, the body
temperature rises and people begin to experience symptoms indicating
distress. Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache;
nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and/or fatigue are symptoms of heat
exhaustion, which generally occurs when people exercise or work in hot,
humid conditions and body fluids are lost. If the person does not take
action, with cool beverages, seeking air conditioning, rest, and removing
heavy clothing, heat stroke can result.
The symptoms of heat stroke include red skin that is hot to the touch;
changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing.
The temperature may rise dramatically and the patient’s skin may feel dry.
If someone is experiencing heat stroke, they should be moved to a cool
place and be cooled down with water if possible, and emergency medical help
should be called immediately because heat stroke can be life threatening.
DHHS is working with regional and State partners to reach out to vulnerable
populations, or people who may not realize they are at risk during extreme
heat. DHHS will provide additional updates as new information becomes
available until the extreme heat ends. For more information on heat-related
illnesses, visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov or the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov . For questions about
animal health and heat, call the Department of Agriculture at 603-271-2404
or visit www.agriculture.nh.gov . For questions related to air quality and
the heat, contact the Department of Environmental Services at 603-271-1370
or visit www.airquality.nh.gov . For concerns about your health or someone
else’s during excessive heat, contact your healthcare provider or call 911
for emergency assistance.
Cooling Centers List Click Here ----> NH Cooling Centers Word Document