Department of Health and Senior Services Recommends Health Precautions Due to Today’s Excessive Heat

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(Trenton)  With the heat index soaring to 110 degrees today,

 the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) urges the elderly,

disabled and those with chronic medical conditions to drink plenty

of water and visit senior or cooling centers if they do not have air


“These are dangerous weather conditions that can cause heat

stroke  and exacerbate chronic medical conditions, leading to

severe complications and death,” said Acting Commissioner

Dr. Tina Tan.

 The risk of severe illness and death from extreme heat

exposure is highest  among:

·     Older adults, especially those 65 years of age and older

• Adults of all ages with chronic health conditions, especially those with

asthma, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity or psychiatric


  Residents may locate their nearest cooling center by calling their local

senior center, town hall or by calling NJ EASE at 1-877-222-3737. 

People may also visit the DHSS website for the locations of the

nearest senior center (

or Area Agency on Aging (

“The elderly and those with disabilities are

most at risk for heat related health crisis

because they do  not adjust as well to sudden

changes in temperature.

 We urge residents to check on elderly and

disabled neighbors, friends and pets to be sure

they are safe  over the next several days,”

said Dr. Tan.

The CDC recommends the following tips for older

adults and people with disabilities and/

or their caregivers:

·        Visit older adults who are at risk at

least twice a day and watch them for signs of

heat exhaustion or heat stroke

·        Encourage them to drink cool, nonalcoholic


·        Check with your physician if you have been

told to limit fluids or if you are taking water pills

The Department recommends the following precautions for stay cool:

·     Stay indoors in air conditioning

·     If you do go outside, stay in the shade

·     If your home is not air conditioned, spend as much time as possible

 in an air conditioned mall, library, senior center, cooling center or pool

·     Wear sunscreen, along with loose-fitting, light-colored clothing

·     Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol and

 sugary drinks which speed dehydration

·     Keep your pets out of vehicles and if you do have to travel with them,

never leave them alone in the car

·     Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day

·     Take a cool shower or bath

Residents are also urged to keep close eye on their pets by

taking the following actions:

·     Make sure your pet has plenty of water; keep water

 bowls filled

·        Never leave your pets unattended in the car –

even for a few minutes – in the heat Just a few short minutes in hot

weather can lead to heat stroke or death

·     Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows signs of heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke include:


o    Increased heart rate

o    Excessive panting

o    Increased salivation

o    Bright red tongue

o    Red or pale gums

o    Vomiting

·     If you exercise with your dog, make sure you exercise in the coolest

 hours of the morning or evening

For more information regarding heat related emergencies, please log on to, visit the National Weather Service Heat Safety Page (, or call 2-1-1

New Jersey’s toll-free, confidential help line.



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