County Human Services


Hot Weather Safety Tips

People of all ages are sensitive to extremes in temperature. But as you age, your body may become less able to respond to extremely hot or cold temperatures. In addition, taking certain types of medications can affect how your body responds to heat.

Be aware of days when extreme heat conditions are predicted by paying attention to your local weather forecast. On hot days, you should:

• Drink plenty of water;
• Avoid long periods in the direct sun or in unventilated rooms;
• Keep air conditioning or fans running; keep your windows open if you don't have a fan or air conditioner;
• Avoid vigorous activity when it is hot and humid;
• Reschedule activities for cooler times of the day;
• Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing;
• Wear a hat or other head covering when out in the sun;
• Wear appropriate sunscreen protection; and
• Take frequent baths or showers and remain in a cool place.

If you don't have air conditioning go to a local Senior Center, library or mall;


Heat-related health problems may include the following:

Heat Cramps
Symptoms: Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. Heavy sweating.
First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.

Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin may be cold, pale and clammy. Weak pulse. Normal temperature possible. Fainting, vomiting.
First Aid: Get victim to lie down in a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke)
Symptoms: Extremely high body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.
First Aid: Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Dial 911 or emergency medical services or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move victim to a cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature. Remove clothing. Use fans and/or air conditioners. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

Contact the York County Area Agency on Aging at 717-771-9610 for anyone that may be at risk during dangerously hot weather. 

Additional information:

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency PEMA

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NIH National Institute on Aging