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In Face Of Relentless Heatwave, Stamford Opens Cooling Centers

With temperatures continuing to stay in the 90s this week, Stamford officials are advising people without air conditioning in their homes to visit local cooling centers.
With temperatures continuing to stay in the 90s this week, Stamford officials are advising people without air conditioning in their homes to visit local cooling centers. Photo Credit: File

STAMFORD, CONN. -- The region will continue to bake under the summer sun this week, but there are ways to stay cool and safe, said Anne Fountain, Stamford’s director of health and social services.

One of those ways is to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, Fountain said. Anyone displaying these should call 911, or visit a hospital emergency room.

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Body temperature greater than or equal to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Skin that is hot and dry with red spots.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Convulsions.

Children, infants, people 65 and older, and people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure are at a greater risk of suffering heat-related illnesses, Fountain said.

Health officials are warning people to stay indoors, and if possible, in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, they advised going to the movies, shopping mall, public library, or a friend’s house/apartment with air conditioning.

Even a few hours spent in an air conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat, Fountain said.

Designated cooling centers in Stamford, and the hours they are open, are:

  • Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Stamford Fire Department Headquarters, 629 Main St., 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Long Ridge Fire Company, 366 Old Long Ridge Road, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Union Baptist Church, 805 Newfield Ave., Tuesdays - Thursdays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturdays (subject to church activities) 8 a.m. – noon.
  • ?Chester Addison Community Center, 245 Selleck St., Mondays - Fridays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • ?Jewish Community Center, 1035 Newfield Ave., Tuesdays - Thursdays 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays 5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.?, Saturdays – Sundays  7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m .
  • Glenbrook Community Center, 35 Crescent St., Mondays - Fridays 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturdays 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Ways to be prepared:

  • Have the phone number of your family doctor posted next to your phone and stored in your cell phone.
  • Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. If the amount of fluid you drink must be limited or you are on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot. Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar because they can cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave any person or pet in a closed, parked vehicle. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need closer monitoring.
  • If you must go out, limit your outdoor activity to early morning and evening hours. Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses.
  • Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. The most effective products say "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels.

 

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