City officials and local health experts give tips on staying cool during the extreme heat

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Saturday, June 22, 2024
City officials and local health experts give tips on staying cool during the extreme heat
City officials and local health experts give tips on staying cool during the extreme heat

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's a very hot weekend in Philadelphia, but that's not stopping people from participating in activities like the Manayunk Arts Festival.

"Drenching. I'm wet a little bit, so it's really hot," said Rajan Bethea of Willingboro, New Jersey.

Many in the crowd at the Manayunk Arts Festival came prepared to face the heat with fans and water bottles in hand. Still, many limited their time outside.

"Too hot. I mean, the local crafts and stuff make it worth it but we're heading towards the door because we can't take it anymore," said Mignon Verdell of East Falls.

The city has been under a heat health emergency since Thursday, and officials have extended it through at least Sunday night.

In response to the heat, the city has put together more than 150 cooling sites throughout the city for folks to cool off like at the Cecil B. Moore Library.

RELATED: How to find cooling centers during dangerously high temperatures in Philadelphia

"Try as much as you can to get in air conditioning, and it doesn't have to be all day. Even a couple hours in the air conditioning can help drop your body temperature and keep you cool," said James Garrow, the communications director for the city's health department.

Garrow added that this is a dangerous time for people in the city because it's so hot out and it's still relatively early in the season, so people haven't acclimated to the high temperatures.

He advised residents to check on elderly neighbors and try and limit time outside during this stretch of extreme heat.

Also, if you're running your fans inside, keep the windows open at the same time.

Folks at the cooling center said when they go back outside they try to find relief.

"Definitely staying hydrated, staying in the shade," said Paige Prince of Overbrook.

A local doctor tells us to limit your time outside because it can be dangerous.

"The first symptom of heat-related illness is you can get muscle cramps or heat cramps. That can then progress to something called heat exhaustion. That's what you start to get sweaty, you get tired, you might feel a little dizzy, lightheaded," said Doctor Stacey Kallem, Director of the Division of Maternal Child and Family Health at the Health Department.

She says to drink water and get someplace cool. If you don't feel better in about an hour you should seek help.

"Heat stroke is when your body actually stops being able to regulate heat so you're actually no longer sweating at that point. Your body temperature could be as high as 103 or 104 degrees. You could get seizures you could pass out. That is a medical emergency - call 911," said Kallem.