News Details

Gloucester County Department of Health, Senior & Disability Services Urges Residents to Avoid the Health Dangers of Extreme Heat

Whenever temperatures are in the high 90s and above, as they have been so suddenly this week, the Gloucester County Department of Health, Senior & Disability Services urges residents to take steps to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and heat exhaustion can also require hospital care. When the weather turns extremely hot and humid, it’s vital to drink plenty of fluids, spend time in cool places and reduce or reschedule any physical activity. And remember to check on elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they are safe.

Prolonged heat and humidity can present a serious health hazard, especially for young children, the elderly and persons taking certain medications. Be mindful of your pets as well.

To avoid health complications from excessive heat:

  • Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Make sure children and the elderly are drinking water, and ensure that persons with mobility problems have adequate fluids in easy reach.  
  • If you do not have air conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned places such as libraries, movies, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day.  Individuals 60+ are welcome to stop by to any one of our six (6) Senior Nutrition Sites, while they are open, and the Shady Lane Nursing Home during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing.  Wear a hat when outdoors. Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day( before 10 am and after 6 pm).
  • Don't leave children, a frail, elderly or disabled person, or pets in an enclosed car -- not even for a minute -- as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
  • Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications -- such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease -- can increase the risk of heat-related illness.

People suffering heatstroke can go from appearing normal to extremely ill in a matter of minutes.  Victims may have hot, dry skin, a high body temperature of 106 degrees or more, an absence of sweat, and a rapid and strong pulse.  Victims may become delirious or unconscious. Persons suffering from heatstroke need immediate medical attention.

Heat exhaustion is a milder illness that may take several days of high temperatures to develop. Victims may have pale, clammy skin and sweat profusely. They may feel tired, weak or dizzy and have headaches or sometimes cramps, but their body temperature will remain close to normal.

In these instances, it is important to seek medical treatment.  If someone is unconscious, not breathing, seizing/convulsing, bleeding profusely, difficult to arouse/wake-up, etc., call 911 immediately.

Prevention is truly the best possible medicine.  Stay safe and out of the heat for the next several days!

*********************************************************************************

Cooling Locations for Seniors ( 60+):

Shady Lane Nursing Home
256 County House Road
Clarksboro, NJ  08020
( 10:00 am – 6:00 pm)

Nutrition Sites:

Site #1:  Mantua Township Community Center
111 Mercer Ave.
Mantua, NJ 08080 
(11:00 am 1:00 PM)

Site #2: Glassboro Senior Center
152 S. Delsea Dr.
Glassboro, NJ 08028  Site Manager
( 10:00 am – 12:00 pm)

Site #3: Thorofare Fire Hall
Firehouse Road
Thorofare, NJ 08086  
( 10:00 am – Noon)

Site #4:  Pfeiffer Community Center
301 Blue Bell Street
Williamstown, NJ 08094
( 10:00 am – Noon) 

Site #5: Franklin Community Center
1584 Coles Mill Road
Franklinville, NJ 08322 
( 10:00 am – Noon) 

Site #6: Second Baptist Church
1534 Pine Street
Paulsboro, NJ 08066
( 10:00 am – Noon)