How to stay cool in Pennsylvania’s extreme heat

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — As temperatures in Pennsylvania reach the high 90s, the Wolf administration is reminding Pennsylvanians to protect themselves and others from the extreme heat.

Governor Tom Wolf said the heat and humidity over the next few days can be dangerous for both people and animals.

“Infants and children, older adults, and people suffering from illness are most at risk from the heat,” Gov. Wolf said. “Check on loved ones and neighbors, limit outdoor activities and never leave young children or pets in vehicles as interiors can reach lethal temperatures within a minute.”

Anyone considered at risk of developing heat-related conditions (infants, young children, people 65 and older, people with chronic medical conditions, people who work outdoors) should be monitored and go somewhere with air conditioning.

Pennsylvanians age 65 and older can contact their local area agencies on aging to find senior centers to utilize as cooling centers.


Here are some tips for staying cool in the extreme heat, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH):

  • Drink plenty of water and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more fluids;
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar, as they can cause dehydration (loss of body fluids);
  • Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible – this is the best way to protect against heat-related illness and death;
  • Avoid long periods in the direct sun or in unventilated rooms;
  • If you must be outside in the heat, reschedule activities for cooler times of the day, and try to rest often in shady areas;
  • Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses – and use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher;
  • Take frequent baths or showers and remain in a cool place.


The DOH has also provided a list of symptoms for heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fainting

If you think someone is having a heat stroke, you should call 911 and get the person to a shady area and cool them down by putting them in a tub of cool water or spraying them with a garden hose. According to the DOH, you should not give the victim any fluids to drink, including water.


Heat exhaustion can be present in animals as well. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate veterinary care:

• Anxiousness
• Excessive panting
• Restlessness
• Excessive drooling
• Abnormal tongue color
• Collapse

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