With summer heat upon us, Vermonters can find places to cool down with a new tool rolled out by the state health department.
When temperatures reach 80 and above there is a higher rate of heat-related illnesses, the Vermont Department of Health said Thursday. Symptoms include muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea or dizziness. Health officials said heat waves are becoming more intense, more frequent, and can be deadly.
"Over 1,400 people died last summer during an unprecedented heat wave in the northwestern United States and western Canada, an area with a similar summer climate to Vermont," said Jared Ulmer, climate and health program manager of Vermont's Department of Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers detailed information on heat-related illnesses and how to combat the symptoms.
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The new interactive map is a guide to help residents beat the heat with information about air-conditioned spaces, beaches, pools and other locations open to the public.
“As we begin our annual adjustment to working and being outside in warmer weather, it’s important to know where you can go to cool off and stay safe,” Ulmer said.
In addition to taking advantage of the tool, Ulmer urges Vermonters to stay informed on the daily weather forecast, drink plenty of water, and pay close attention to heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service and the Department of Health. People who are especially at risk of heat-related illness include older adults, young children, those on certain medications and those with chronic medical conditions.