Stamford opens cooling centers

lemonadeABOVE: Mark Sosa buys a lemonade from Nikie Fajardo’s lemonade stand on Oaklawn Ave. Monday (DRU NADLER/The Advocate)

STAMFORD — Temperatures broke 90 degrees in Stamford Monday afternoon, prompting the Health Department to open two cooling centers.

The Government Center, located at 888 Washington Blvd., and Fire Department headquarters at 629 Main St. are both available to residents looking to escape the heat over the next few days, Health Director Anne Fountain announced in a news release Monday. The two locations will operate as designated cooling centers from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Temperatures are expected to hover in the high-80s through Wednesday. Meteorologists are also forecasting heavy humidity and scattered thunderstorms.

See below for Fountain’s full release:

Stamford, CT – Once again, the area is experiencing extreme heat conditions for the next few days. The Stamford Director of Health and Social Services, Anne Fountain, advises Stamford residents and visitors to take precautions and recommends the following tips to deal with the heat:
• Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke. They include:
 Body temperature greater than or equal to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
 Skin that is hot and dry with red spots.
 Mental confusion.
 Loss of consciousness
 Convulsions
If you are experiencing these symptoms, dial 911 or visit a hospital emergency room.
• Have the phone number of your family doctor clearly posted next to your phone (and stored in your cellular phone).
• Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him/her how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
• Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the movies, shopping mall, public library, or a friend’s house/apartment with air conditioning–even a few hours spent in an air conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat .(See listing of designated cooling centers below)
• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• NEVER leave any person or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.
• Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
 Infants and young children
 People aged 65 or older
 People who have a mental illness
 Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.
• If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to early morning and evening hours. Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
• Try to rest often in shady areas.
• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
Location and Hours of Operation for Designated Cooling Centers: June 24, June 25, and June 26, 2013.
Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd, Stamford, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Stamford Fire Department Headquarters, 629 Main St., 8:30am to 6:00pm