PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 9, 2017

Cathleen D. Bennett

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Officials Encourage Residents to Avoid Dangers of Extreme Heat

Temperatures Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Expected to Reach mid-90s

With summer approaching and temperatures expected to rise into the mid 90’s over the next few days, the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) is urging residents to take steps to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“During periods of high temperature and humidity, there are things everyone, particularly those at risk, should do to lessen the chances of heat illness,” said Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett. “In extremely hot weather, it is vital to drink plenty of fluids, spend time in cool places and reduce or reschedule any physical activity.’’

Senior citizens, children and those with chronic conditions are extremely vulnerable to excessive heat.

To avoid health complications:

  • 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
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection
  • 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. Check with your municipality to see if cooling centers are available.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing.  Wear a hat when outdoors.
  • Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day (early morning or evening)
  • 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
  • Consult health care professionals regarding 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 from heat stroke 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 should seek 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.

 Residents should also take steps to protect pets during excessive heat: 

  • Keep pets indoors in air conditioned rooms during periods of extreme heat
  • Never leave dogs or other pets in parked cars; the temperatures in parked cars rise rapidly and can reach dangerous levels in only a few minutes
  • Limit exercise on hot days to early mornings and evenings when the temperatures are lower
  • Provide ample cool water and shade to pets while they are outside
  • If pets show signs of heatstroke (heavy panting vomiting, disorientation, collapse) seek immediate veterinary care; heatstroke is life threatening

 Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.

For more information, visit  nj.gov/health.

Last Reviewed: 6/9/2017