MILFORD >> The Health Department urges residents to take precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Any sudden change in temperature will be stressful, while gradual exposure to heat gives the body time to become accustomed to higher temperatures.

People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded and the body can no longer cool itself.

To cool down during the hottest times of the day, the following locations are available:

• Milford Senior Center, 9 Jepson Drive, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, closed Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

• Connecticut Post mall, 1201 Boston Post Road, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at greatest risk for heat-related illness include children up to 4 years old, adults 65 years and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications.

“Even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather,” said Health Director Deepa Joseph.

Joseph recommends that during extremely hot weather kids get indoors for short periods to cool down and get a drink of water.

The Health Department is working with the Recreation Department and public schools to ensure these measures are in place for children attending the playground and summer programs.

The Health Department will notify the Recreation Department of heat waves.

Parents are encouraged to send their child to the playground with at least one quart of noncarbonated, noncaffeinated beverage, such as water.

PRECAUTIONS

The following precautions during a heat wave are advised:

• Increase fluid intake regardless of activity and don’t wait until you feel thirst. Avoid drinks containing caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Avoid very cold beverages, which can cause stomach cramps.

• Limit exercise in a hot environment and drink two-four glasses of fruit juice or a sports beverage each hour.

• Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air conditioned environment, including public places, for a few hours.

• Do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device. When the temperature is 90 or higher, a fan will not prevent heat-related illness. A cool shower or bath is a better way to cool off.

• Plan outdoor activities before noon or in the evening. While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing. When outdoors, a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool.

• Never leave small children, pets, disabled or elderly people in a closed, parked vehicle.

• Provide pets with plenty of water and shade.

• Wear sunscreen to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

• Check on family and neighbors who are at greatest risk of heat-related illness.

WARNING SIGNS

Warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.

If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention. If you are having severe and persistent heat-related symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Children are especially vulnerable to the heat. Parents of children with special medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, should consult with their physicians or care providers on best preventive measures.

Children who are overweight or obese are more vulnerable to the effects of heat, especially prolonged extreme heat.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/extremeheat or call the Health Department at 203-783-3285.