PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Due to the excessive heat warning in effect, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has activated the Heatline.
The Heatline is open from noon to midnight on Wednesday and from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.
The phone number is 215-765-9040.
At the PCA's Heatline call center, a team of trained staff can counsel callers about precautions to take against the heat and detecting signs of heat stress.
City Health Department nurses are also on-site to speak with callers about medical problems related to the heat.
Mobile relief teams from the Health Department will respond to situations requiring intervention, and 911 will be called for emergencies.
The PCA is urging neighbors, friends and relatives to check in on the elderly who are especially vulnerable to heat.
Symptoms of heat stress include loss of energy, loss of appetite, upset stomach, lightheadedness, prickly heat, heat cramps, heavy sweating, thirst, feeling faint, giddiness, confusion and/or nausea.
If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these symptoms, move to a cool location and rest.
Drink more fluids and remove any excess clothing.
Call 911, if symptoms include any of the following: lack of sweat; combative behavior; hot, dry, flushed skin; body temperature of 105 degrees or above; throbbing headache; rapid heartbeat or breathing; convulsions; staggering; loss of consciousness; and/or confusion.
To avoid heat stress and dehydration:
-Drink a glass of water every 20 minutes.
-Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
-Turn on the air conditioning or go somewhere that is air-conditioned. Don't try to save on energy bills during a heat wave.
-Keep curtains or blinds closed during daylight hours to block out the sun.
-If you can't get out of the house, stay on a lower floor where it's cooler and open the windows. Use a fan only if the outside air is cooler than the inside air. Do not use a fan with the windows closed.
-Take a cool shower or bath, which can be more effective at cooling you down than using a fan.
-Dress in loose, light-colored clothing.
-Eat lightly. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals. Use your stove and oven less to keep room temperatures lower. If you must heat food, use a microwave. Add cool foods, like watermelon, cantaloupe, Jell-O or other fruits, to your diet.