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Heat wave coming, precautions recommended

Parts of Pennsylvania will have high heat, humidity

HARRISBURG, Pa. | May 26, 2012

"people need to be aware of the serious health threat"

— Dr. Eli Avila

Hot temperatures and high humidity are expected in some parts of Pennsylvania this Memorial Day weekend and health officials advise taking precautions.

"People need to be aware of the serious health threat posed by temperatures that may feel as high as 100 degrees F or more in some areas," Dr. Eli Avila of the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement. "Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, yet each year Pennsylvanians get sick or die from underestimating just how dangerous hot weather can be."

Healthy people of any age can experience heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to handle high temperatures, but many have increased risk -- including those age 65 and older, infants and young children, and those with heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems or other chronic conditions.

"Certain types of medications can also affect how your body responds to heat," Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke, said. "Simple actions such as wearing sunscreen, rescheduling events to cooler times of the day, and wearing a hat to keep the sunlight off of your head can go a long way in keeping people healthy."

To avoid heat-related illness:

-- Stay indoors in air conditioning. Air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death.

-- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and don't wait until thirsty.

-- Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Also use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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