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Protecting your health during CNY heat wave

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As temperatures soar into the 90s in central New York, medical experts are advising people to take precautions to protect themselves from the heat.

Kristy Smorol from the American Heart Association says if you’re planning to head outdoors, make sure you do it in a smart way.

That means avoiding exertion in the middle of the day, wearing lightweight clothing, taking frequent breaks, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

"In the heat, your body is really working differently than it would in lower temperatures, so you need to be prepared for that,” said Smorol. “You need to be aware of how that feels, and you need to be aware of what you're doing."

It also helps to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone has symptoms of heat exhaustion, like headaches, heavy sweating, dizziness, or a weak and rapid pulse, they should move to a cooler place and cool down immediately with water. For symptoms of heat stroke, like warm, dry skin with no sweating, strong and rapid pulse, confusion, unconsciousness, or throbbing headaches, seek medical attention immediately.

“If you are a heart patient, older than 50 or overweight, those are people that should take some special precautions,” said Smorol. “If you know that you get overheated in hot weather, you should take some precautions as well."

However, this summer it may be harder to find a place to cool down for people who are vulnerable to the heat and COVID-19.

Syracuse Parks Commissioner Julie LaFave said the city has two senior centers available as cooling centers. People who want to take more pandemic precautions can use outdoor options, like the city’s 13 misters and spray features or the four open city pools.

"A lot of our programming in the summertime is offered outdoors, so therefore, people feel safer,” said LaFave. “I can't speak for everybody, but some people have expressed that they feel safer because they can be more spaced out. You don't have to worry about being in a well-ventilated area. You're in the outdoors."

LaFave said if anyone is struggling to find a COVID-safe place to cool down, they can always reach out to the city for help and advice.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.