Record heat can have dire health consequences

Making sure you stay cool in the heat is not just a matter of comfort. It's also a matter of safety.

The heat is particularly dangerous for the young, the elderly, and those with certain health conditions, including respiratory problems, cystic fibrosis, asthma, and emphysema.

The Salvation Army in Syracuse serves as a cooling station for many elderly members of the community. The heat can be especially harmful to the elderly. "I think we see more and more seniors with chronic health concerns, like asthma or heart disease, that makes it harder to tolerate the warm weather," said Linda McNally, Salvation Army's Director of Adult Day Services.

Syracuse's public pools are also more popular on hot days. "The outdoor pools, and some of our indoor pools, are a necessity for people who may not have air conditioning in their homes," said Bernadette DeMott, a Pool Supervisor for the City of Syracuse.

One important thing to do on such hot days is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and replenishing lost electrolytes by additionally drinking sports drinks. Wearing loose, light-colored clothing and avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks - two things that can speed up dehydration - is also advisable.