The summer months in the New York metropolitan area are a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors: the excitement of street fairs, concerts in the parks, art shows lining local streets, the sweet smell of roasted nuts and the familiar sound of bells ringing on ice cream trucks.
However, the summer heat and humidity can be dangerous to us all, especially the elderly, if we don’t heed the warning signs of heat-related illnesses. And remember, extreme heat adversely affects a person’s medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems and respiratory ailments.
Heat Exhaustion: This illness occurs when a person who is exposed to too much hot weather becomes dehydrated and can no longer maintain a normal body temperature.
Heat Stroke or Sun Stroke: A life-threatening illness where a person’s body is no longer able to maintain control of its core temperature.
Food Poisoning: There are two reasons food poisoning strikes more often during the summer: bacteria grows faster in warm, humid weather; and people eat outdoors at picnics, barbeques, and on camping trips, away from the safer confines of their home kitchen.
How to Avoid Food Poisoning Outdoors
Protecting Yourself Against the Sun
Ozone, a major component of smog, is created when sunlight reacts with chemicals found in the city’s air. At high levels, it can affect a person’s respiratory function. Weather reports usually warn people at risk to stay indoors when the levels become dangerously high.
Preparing For Power Outages
In case of a summer blackout, you should have an emergency supply kit containing a flashlight, battery-powered radio and hand fan, extra batteries, first aid kit and bottled water.
Also, having a supply of canned foods may come in handy in case the outage lasts more than a few hours. Make sure to open your windows if your home is not air-conditioned.