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How to stay safe during the extreme heat

Heat index values in the triple digits could be harmful to your health if you're not prepared.

YORK, Pa. — As temperatures rise, people across South Central Pennsylvania are looking for ways to beat the heat. For many families this means trips to the park, to the local ice cream shop, or to a nearby stream.

Kori and her family, York County residents, typically come to the stream at the York Township Park to stay cool. 

“And they have this great creek over here down at the lower playground," she tells FOX43. "And we like to come out in the morning time, usually, like we expected there to be a crowd of people, usually there’s a lot of people here but I think it’s just really warm today. 

“You bring lots of water, and lots of sunscreen, and thankfully there are these patches of shade that we sort of run to.”

With temperatures in the 90s and feeling more like triple digits, safety is also at top of everyone's mind.

Lisa Landis, from the American Red Cross, says that staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to stay safe. 

“You can take frequent breaks if you’re going to be outdoors," she says. "And of course stay hydrated, drink as much water as you’re able to. And make sure that small children or even elderly, your neighbors or folks that might be outside with you are also staying hydrated and protected from the sun as best you’re able.”

Wearing sunscreen and loose, bright colored clothing can also help you stay cool.

It’s also important to be able to recognize heat related illnesses in people, which can sometimes be hard to spot. 

If you are dizzy, sweating, and feel muscle cramps, you could have heat exhaustion. Finding a cool place and drinking water can help.

If you have a headache, are not sweating with red, hot skin, and potentially pass out, this could be the sign of heat stroke and you need to call 911. 

Credit: WPMT Fox43

Landis also says that as we approach the holiday weekend, general safety surrounding swimming, grilling, and fireworks is also necessary to keep you and your family safe.

And make sure to keep an eye on your friends and neighbors. 

“Check on them," she says. "Make sure they’re staying hydrated. Make sure they know that there are some warnings in place and that they have access to air conditioned spaces even for short periods of time throughout the heat of the day.”