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Temps soar just before start of school

August 27, 2018

GREENWICH — The public schools may be starting up again this week, but summer is not quite done with Greenwich.

Greenwich — along with much of metro New York City — will be under a Heat Advisory from 11 a.m. Tuesday until 9 p.m. Wednesday, with temperatures expected to soar into the mid-90s, according to the National Weather Service. As a result, the town is warning residents to take precautions.

“All residents, especially persons who are young, elderly, have medical or mental health conditions, use medications that impede body temperature regulation, those who do not have air conditioning, those whose work requires outdoor activities and people who are socially isolated are encouraged to pay special attention to the weather,” the town’s Department of Health said in a statement Monday.

According to Dr. Christopher Davison, medical director of Greenwich Hospital’s emergency department, the town’s warnings should be heeded. He also urged people who work outdoors to stay hydrated and for people who exercise outdoors to do it early in the morning or in the evening.

Six cases of heat stroke were treated at Greenwich Hospital after a road race on a hot day in 2016, he said. But no such major incidents have been reported locally this summer.

“I wouldn’t say that we’ve seen an increase in the number of heat illnesses or heat injuries,” Davison said Monday. “It may be that people are listening to what they’re told about how be careful. But when you have temperatures like we’re going to have this week, you always want to make sure people know what to do.”

The town has issued several heat alerts this summer. But Michael Long, the town’s director of environmental services, said Monday he wanted to remind residents of the proper steps to take.

The Department of Health said common-sense tips such as avoiding prolonged exposure to the heat and keeping hydrated can make a big difference. Residents should also keep children and pets indoors except for brief times outside and make sure pets have plenty to drink. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are open.

With temperatures spiking so high, residents could become sick with a variety of heat-related illnesses.

The symptoms for heat stroke may include headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, high body temperature, difficulty breathing and a rapid and strong pulse. If someone appears to be suffering from heat stroke, do not give fluids but rather call 911. If possible, move the victim into a cool or air-conditioned location.

Heat exhaustion is different and can cause heavy sweating, weakness and cool, pale and clammy skin as well as muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting. To treat it, offer the victim sips of water in a cool environment and apply a cool, wet cloth. If vomiting persists, seek medical attention.

Heat cramps can cause painful cramps and muscle spasms in the or abdomen and cause heavy sweating. Move a victim to a cool spot and give sips of water, unless nausea occurs. Additionally, the cramping muscle should be gently massaged.

The town Senior Center, the civic centers and the libraries offer cool spots during regular business hours. The town’s Public Safety Complex lobby will also be open for people to use as a cooling center if needed.

Students entering sixth grade and ninth grade will be reporting to class on Wednesday for orientation, although it will be an early release day. The official first day of school for all Greenwich Public School students is Thursday, when the high temperature is expected to hit 90 degrees.

North Mianus School will not have working air conditioning until October, an issue that has concerned parents. Delivery delays were blamed as the school installs a new heating ventilation and air conditioning system.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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