Residents are advised to avoid strenuous activity, drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids and take precautions against suffering heat-related illness.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has also issued an ozone advisory. Ozone levels are forecast to be in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category in the New York Metropolitan area, which includes Westchester County.
Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year. Symptoms include hot, dry skin; shallow breathing; a rapid, weak pulse; and confusion. Anyone suffering from heat stroke needs to receive emergency medical treatment immediately.
"Heat stroke and dehydration can take you by surprise," said Dr. Cheryl Archbald, Westchester County acting commissioner of health. "The elderly, young children and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or lung conditions need to be especially careful to avoid heat-related illnesses."
The Health Department recommends the following preventive measures against heat-related illnesses:
Neighbors are also asked to check on elderly residents in their area or apartment complex to make sure they are safe.
People experiencing symptoms should speak with a health care provider. Those who may be especially sensitive to the effects of ozone exposure include the very young, those who exercise outdoors or are involved in strenuous outdoor work, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma. When ozone levels are elevated, the Westchester County Department of Health recommends limiting strenuous physical activity outdoors to reduce the risk of adverse effects.
For more information and tips of safety during hot weather, residents should visit the Health Department website at WestchesterGov.com/health or call the Health Department's Stay Cool Hotline at (914) 813-5620. Air quality updates are provided daily on the New York State Air Quality Hotline at 1-800-535-1345.