Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beating The Heat

Here in NYC, the weather has been just brutal, with 4 continuous days of 94 degrees +!! Temperatures this high mixed with pollution causing humidity are very dangerous and should not be takin lightly. The most common illnesses from high heat are:
heat stoke, heat exhaustion and dehydration and high temperatures.

Those most at risk of getting sick as a result of high heat and humidity are preschoolers, adults aged 65 or older, people of any age who overexert themselves during work or exercise, and people who are sick or on certain medications.

Heat-related illness occurs when the body's temperature-control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but when the humidity and temperature are high, sweating may not be effective enough. Signs of heat illness include rapid breathing, headache, weakness or fainting, confusion and more tiredness than usual.

The most severe effect on health is heat stroke. A person suffering from heat stroke has a high body temperature -- above 99 degrees F; hot, dry skin and dizziness or confusion.

Similar in concept to winter's wind-chill factor, the humidex is a measure developed by meteorologists to describe how heat and relative humidity combine to make it feel hotter than it actually is. The humidex takes into account the two most important factors that affect summer comfort -- temperature and humidity -- and is therefore a better measure of how stifling the air feels.