The Town of Hingham would like to remind residents to take safety precautions during activities during hot weather, especially those that take place outdoors.
Extreme heat is a prolonged period of very hot weather, which may include high humidity. In Massachusetts, a “heat wave” is usually defined as a period of three or more consecutive days above 90 degrees. Temperatures are currently forecast to be in the 90s from today through Sunday.
A heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20. Similar conditions are expected to continue through Thursday, July 21.
Local resources for Hingham residents include the following:
- Residents can seek relief from the heat at the following Town facilities:
- Hingham Public Library, at 66 Leavitt Street, with operating hours Monday through Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The library is also open on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Hingham Senior Center, at 224 Central Street, with operating hours Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Limited transportation to the Senior Center may be available for home bound senior residents who wish to cool off, during the Senior Center’s regular business hours. Call 781-741- 1458 to arrange transportation.
- South Shore Country Club’s Bowling Alley, at, 274 South Street, open Monday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- The Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant recommends residents minimize power use during this week, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., to reduce peak demand for electricity.
- The Weir River Water System encourages residents to continue to conserve water, and to continue to follow watering restrictions that are in effect. This is particularly important to ensure water is available for the Hingham Fire Department should a fire occur.
The American Red Cross and National Safety Council recommend the following safety tips to prevent illness and injuries:
Heat Safety Tips
- Drink plenty of fluids, like water, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages, drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.
- If you’re outside, find shade and minimize direct exposure to the sun.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 3:00 p.m.
- Avoid extreme temperature change and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
- Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
- For children, limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses. To avoid burns, if playground equipment is hot to the touch it is too hot for your child’s bare skin.
Heat Safety Tips for Seniors
Residents are encouraged to check on elderly family members and neighbors, especially those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration can be particularly dangerous for the elderly population.
For more information on how older residents can stay safe during extreme heat, helpful information is available from AARP.
Recognizing Heat Illnesses
- Look for: heavy sweating during intense exercise; muscle pain or spasms
- If you have heat cramps:
- Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
- Drink water or a sports drink
- Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
- Get medical help if cramps last longer than 1 hour, you’re on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems
- Look for: heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness; headache; fainting
- If you expect heat exhaustion:
- Move to a cool place
- Loosen your clothes
- Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
- Sip water
- Get medical help if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse or symptoms last longer than one hour
- Look for: high body temperature (103°F or higher); hot, red, dry, or damp skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; passing out
- If you expect a heat stroke:
- Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
- Move the person to a cooler place
- Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
- Do not give the person anything to drink
Learn more about heat illnesses here.