Heat Safety Tips and Information from Fairfax County
Aug. 10, 2009
With a heat advisory in effect today from noon to 8 p.m., Fairfax County encourages residents to stay safe by seeking relief from the heat.
Heat takes the greatest toll on the very young and the very old, especially children younger than 5 and adults older than 65. Intense summer temperatures also greatly affect people who are already sick or take certain medications, including diuretics, antihistamines, beta-blockers and tranquilizers.
The needs of Fairfax County’s vulnerable populations, including the homeless, elderly and those with special medical needs, are heightened during conditions such as extreme heat. Residents are encouraged to take a few minutes to check in on individuals who need special attention to ensure their well-being. Residents who need immediate, life-saving help should call 9-1-1. For other safety help, call the public safety non-emergency phone number at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
Residents may visit county facilities such as senior centers, community centers and libraries for temporary respite from the heat, however, residents should call the facility first to verify hours of operation.
To keep cool, follow this general advice:
- Drink plenty of water; avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages because they dehydrate the body.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air-conditioned place if possible; resting for just two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce heat-related illnesses.
- Slow down. Avoid strenuous physical activities or reschedule them for the coolest part of the day, usually the early morning.
- Eat light meals.
- Don’t take salt tablets unless directed by a doctor.
- Wear light-colored clothing, which helps reflect sunlight.
- Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Sunburn makes it more difficult for the body to cool off.
- Never leave children or pets unattended in a car — not even for a few minutes. Even with the windows slightly open, the temperature in a car on a 93-degree day can soar to 125 degrees in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 degrees in 40 minutes.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711