Bethlehem, July 16, 2013 State Sen. Lisa Boscola today urged citizens to take safety precautions to avoid heat-related problems.

“Health effects from heat should not be taken lightly,” Boscola warned. “If you are at work or just spending time with family and friends on an outing, please make an effort to understand how to handle and prevent heat-related illnesses.”

Boscola noted that heat exhaustion and stroke can be dangerous and deadly. To avoid heat illnesses, she urged people to:

• Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration. Avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.

• If working outside or in a warm environment inside, take frequent breaks (preferably in a shaded area if outside and a cooler area if inside).

• Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, such as cotton.

• When working in the sun, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15, which blocks 93 percent of harmful ultraviolet rays.

If heat stroke is suspected, Boscola said emergency medical services should be contacted immediately so that the person can be transported to a hospital. While waiting for emergency medical services to arrive, the following can be done to assist the victim and possibly help to cool them down: move the person to a cooler environment or place him or her in a cool bath of water (as long as he or she is conscious and can be attended continuously); alternatively, moisten the skin with lukewarm water and use a fan to blow cool air across the skin; and give cool beverages by mouth only if the person is conscious, has a normal mental state and can tolerate it.

Boscola also offered the following tips for conserving energy on high temperature days:

• Close or crack your blinds to cut the sunlight glare and heat load;

• Turn off any unnecessary electrical equipment;

• Turn your lights off if you are not in a room for an extended period of time;

• Shut your computer off at the end of the day; and

• Set your thermostat up a couple of degrees.

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