If you’re going to keep cool during the heatwave, start by drinking plenty of cold water. Stay in the air conditioning if you can. Limit your physical activity, and wear sunscreen if you do go outside. If you are going to do any physical activity outside, should you have a sports drink? Dr. Ken Visalli works in Internal Medicine for Slocum Dickson Medical Group. He explains how the drinks are most helpful.
"Sports drinks, they have a lot of sugar in them which we don’t really like, but sometimes people will dilute those ½ water, ½ the sports drink, and that gives you some electrolytes and can be a little bit helpful too, but mostly water is the best bet."
It’s recommended to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated, but is it possible to drink too much?
"Yes. You can. It’s very rare, and it’s hard to do, but you can drink too much water, and that’s the thing we see with some of the college kids sometimes who do different challenges and things like that where they drink too much water. What happens is it decreases the amount of salt in your body. It dilutes it out, and you get something called hyponatremia which is actually incredibly dangerous."
The doctor tells us children under the age of 2 and adults over the age of 70 are at higher risk of heat related illness because they aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures as well. Pets are also going to need special care. As a general rule, keep them inside where it’s cool. Steven Swan Humane Society’s John Treen cautions pet owners about some ideas that may sound good but really aren’t.
"A lot of people talk about, especially with their dogs, I’m going to shave my dog. It’s not a good idea. Brushing your pets is super key to that. Keeping them brushed and well-groomed is good, but do not shave them in this heat. It is not good for them. They can get sunburned."
Getting in a swimming pool is a great way for people to cool off, but not so much for our pets.
"Chlorine is not good for the dogs. It’s really bad on their skin. It can dry out really, really bad. The pool cleaners not good for them. It’s not good for them to drink it. For them to ingest the chlorine, that is bad as well."
If you need some air conditioning you can go to the North Utica Senior Center, The Kirkland Town Library, Sangertown Square Mall, or the Parkway Center.
The Kirkland Town Library, located at 55 1/2 College Street in Clinton, will be open for special hours from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. Check out a book or movie, play on the computers, or just enjoy the air conditioning. For more information, visit www.kirklandtownlibrary.org or call 315-853-2038.
The Parkway Center will be open Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 7-noon.