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Keeping Cool in the Heat

Philadelphia can get very hot and humid during the summer months. Make sure you know how to protect the health of you and your loved ones when the temperatures start to climb.

Tips to Keep Cool
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.
  • Slow down—rest in the shade or a cool place every chance you get.
  • Stay in during the hottest part of the day (10 am to 2 pm).
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, visit a senior center, a shopping mall, a public library or a friend who has air conditioning.
  • Use a fan. Keep your windows open.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.

Check on your friends and neighbors who are elderly or have medical conditions. For help, call the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Heatline: 215-765-9040.

Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down, or air conditioning on. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children 14 and younger. Find out more.


When It's Very Hot, Be a Buddy!

High heat can cause health problems, especially for older people, infants, young children, and people with certain medical conditions. Be a buddy—check on your family, friends and neighbors every day.

  • Are the windows open?
  • Is there an air conditioner? If not, put a fan in or next to a window. Do not use a fan in a closed room without open windows or doors.
  • Is there enough water to drink?
  • Is the person wearing too many clothes?

Signs of Heat Stress
Warning Signs
  • decreased energy
  • loss of appetite, nausea
  • lightheadedness, feels faint
  • heavy sweating

Serious Signs
  • rapid heartbeat
  • throbbing headache
  • dry skin (no sweating)
  • muscle cramps
  • confusion, anger, fighting
  • trouble breathing
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • unconscious or unresponsive

What to Do
  • Get the person to a cool place.
  • Remove extra clothes.
  • Give the person water.

What to Do
Call 911. This is a medical emergency. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area. Remove extra clothes. Use water and a fan to cool the person.