Freeholders urge residents to stay hydrated, care for young and old

FREEHOLD, NJ – We already know that Monmouth County is the place you want to be, but its beaches and parks may be the place you need to be as the National Weather Service is expecting local temperatures this week to continue in the upper 90s and may even top 100 degrees.

“The phrase ‘cooler at the shore’ will have special meaning this week,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said. “While the temperature and humidity rise, it may be better for some residents to visit our many beaches or simply stay inside in air-conditioned spaces.”

While the local beaches and the county park system can help you cool down, the Monmouth County Health Department offers the following reminders:

  • Stay in the shade. Trees provide welcome shade. If you head to the beach, be sure to bring an umbrella.
  • Wear sunscreen and lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect away some of the sun's energy.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks, which speed dehydration.
  • Slow down. Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day – in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.

“It may be best for some residents to stay indoors and in air-conditioning during this stretch of hot weather,” said Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, liaison to the Health Department. “Be a good neighbor and check on your elderly and special needs neighbors who may need assistance keeping cool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that while anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:

  • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.

The CDC also recommends that adults at risk should be monitored at least twice a day and closely watched for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Other reminders from the Monmouth County Department of Health are:

  • Stay indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
  • If your home is not air-conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in the car.

The county’s Health Department cautions residents to be aware that extreme heat conditions can trigger physical ailments such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you think you or someone else has symptoms of a heat-related illness, you should seek medical attention.

Information about events, activities and places that may help you beat the heat is available on the tourism section of the Monmouth County Web site.

For more information regarding heat-related emergencies, please log on to visitmonmouth.com for a link to the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the state’s emergency preparedness.