Posted Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Temperatures over the next few days are expected to soar well into the 90s, and with that in mind, the Morris County Office of Health Management urges county residents to take steps to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“The best defense is prevention,” said Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez, who advises everyone to drink more fluids (nonalcoholic) regardless of their activity level and even if they are not thirsty.

“If your doctor limits the amount of fluid you drink, or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot,” Perez said. He noted water is the best liquid to drink since liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar actually cause the loss of more body fluid.

Other tips from Perez include:

▪Stay indoors and, if possible, stay in an air conditioned place. Avoid being outside during the heat of the day, between 2 and 6pm.

▪Wear light-weight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing.

▪Avoid leaving anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, Perez said infants, young children, individuals 65 years of age and older, people who have a mental illness and anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure are at greater risk than others and should be check regularly.

“We should also remember to look in on elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they are safe.” Perez said.

According to Perez, those who must be out in the heat should limit their outdoor activity to mornings and evening hours, cut down on exercise, try to rest in shady places and protect themselves from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and using a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.