Philadelphia Senior Center extends hours to keep residents cool during dangerous heat

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Blazing sun and high humidity, the excessive heat continues throughout the Philadelphia area for the next several days.

"It feels like an over, getting baked," said Ron Field.

And it's not just uncomfortable, heat can be deadly.

Emergency room doctor Kristy Shine says staff at Jefferson University Hospital are on alert.

"We typically get patients during heat wave season at Jefferson. So far this summer we've been lucky, but with this heat wave coming up we are anticipating patients coming in," she said.

Young children, anyone with chronic medical problems and seniors are at a greater risk, that's why the Philadelphia Senior Center has extended hours.

Many are beating the heat with a friendly game of Pinochle.

"I have a lot of health issues, so this place is vital to my well being," said Sheila Bass.

Some medications can also make people more susceptible to heat illness or dehydration including diuretics, antihistamines, some antidepressants and some medications for Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Shine urges everyone to take precautions: stay hydrated, wear light clothing and limit activity outside.

"Other things you can do is stay in climate controlled environment - AC or fans or spray yourself with a mist water bottle," she says.

Early signs of heat illness include headache, feeling lightheaded or tired. Those are signs to seek shade or air conditioning, drink water and let your body rest.

The city of Philadelphia's Heatline is accepting calls for all those in need of help relating to the excessive heat at 215-765-9040.

In addition, cooling centers can be found at various locations like libraries, senior centers, and recreation centers that are open to the public and have air conditioning.

To find a cooling station near you, CLICK HERE.
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