Local waterways still remain very cold
BE SAFE. BE PREPARED.
Vermont Business Magazine Summertime heat is expected this weekend and into early next week with high temperatures in the 80s and 90s. This comes on the heels of a cool, damp Memorial Day Weekend. It takes time for our bodies to adjust to being active in warmer conditions, and heat illnesses can be dangerous. That’s why the National Weather Service and the Vermont Department of Health are reminding people to stay safe and healthy as the thermometer rises.
During hot weather, your body’s temperature control systems can have a hard time keeping up, and your temperature can get dangerously high. Whether you are putting in your garden, taking your canoe out for a paddle, heading up the Green Mountains or Adirondacks for panoramic views, or just out for a walk, it’s important to start slowly, drink more fluids than usual and take extra breaks in the shade or cool indoor locations.
Certain people are at an increased risk of heat-related illness and even death. Those who work or exercise outdoors, and older adults and young children should be sure to stay cool and hydrated. People who have a chronic medical condition, are overweight, are taking certain medications or are using drugs or alcohol, should also take extra care.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness
Muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache or light-headedness are symptoms of heat-related illness. Most can be treated with fluids and by resting in a cooler place. Dial 9-1-1 or get immediate medical help if you are concerned about your or someone else's health.
The risk in our region for heat-related illnesses increases when temperatures reach the mid-to-upper 80’s, especially on sunny, humid days. During the 2018 heat wave, four Vermonters died from excessive heat and there were 15 times more heat-related emergency department visits than normal.
Stay Cool, Stay Hydrated, Stay Informed
Follow these tips for staying safe and healthy in hot weather:
- NEVER leave children, people with a disability, older adults or pets in parked vehicles. “Look Before You Lock!”
- Drink plenty of water, or non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
- Take frequent breaks and seek relief in air-conditioned or other cool and shady places.
- Limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.
- Close window shades during the day, keep windows closed when it is hotter outside than inside, and avoid using appliances and lights that generate heat.
- Check on loved ones and neighbors, especially those living alone and without air conditioning.
Cold water can still be a hazard
Spending a hot day in or on the numerous waterways of Vermont and Northern New York sounds inviting, but this early in the season, the water temperature of lakes and rivers remain dangerously cold.
Early June surface water temperatures on Lake Champlain and other bodies of water are typically only in the lower 50s, and immersion in cold water – whether on purpose or by accident – can become life threatening very quickly.
At those temperatures, being in the water can result in immediate cold shock followed by muscle failure and hypothermia in minutes, making it nearly impossible to self-rescue or even stay afloat unassisted. If you accidentally end up in the water, wearing a floatation device will keep you afloat, allowing more time for rescuers to arrive.
The National Weather Service, US Coast Guard and other local agencies ask you to follow these safety tips:
- No matter the season, ALWAYS wear a personal flotation device when you are on the water.
- Wear all recommended protective gear to guard against the cold water in the event of an accident or capsize.
SAFE BOATING IS NO ACCIDENT. Please take the time to think safety first and plan appropriately for weather and water conditions before heading out on lakes, rivers, and streams.
Heat and Water Safety Resources
- NWS Heat Safety and Resources - weather.gov/safety/heat
- Vermont Department of Health:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
- FEMA Extreme Heat - ready.gov/heat
- NWS Safe Boating – weather.gov/safety/safeboating
Stay informed with the National Weather Service at weather.gov/btv/
Find health information at healthvermont.gov
Source: BURLINGTON, VT – VDH 6.3.2021