Afternoon heat advisory, Trenton schools closing early

- Near record high temperatures are returning, and the Philadelphia region will be under a Heat Advisory from noon to 6pm.

FOX 29’s Sue Serio is predicting Thursday’s high in Philadelphia will be 95, making it the second day of a heat wave that will continue into the weekend.

Combined with humidity, we should expect the heat index in the triple digits. That means we need to drink extra water, stay hydrated, and in air condition whenever possible. More of the same is expected on Friday and Saturday.

That’s the problem in Trenton schools, which just opened for the year. They’re suddenly closing early due to the excessive heat and humidity.

The public school district says staff and students will continue to be dismissed early every day this week. That started Wednesday.

Elementary schools and the Stokes Early Childhood Center will dismiss at 1pm.

Middle schools will dismiss at 12:45pm and high schools will dismiss at 12:30pm.

The Daylight/Twilight Alternative High School will end its school days at noon.

The central administrative offices for the district will remain open during normal hours.

The principal of Hedgepeth/Williams Middle School of the Arts told FOX 29’s Dave Kinchen they’ve been trying to get the district to install air conditioning for quite some time. There is AC in about five classrooms for "health reasons" relating to school staff.

The school has been handing out bottled water to students and staff since the early dismissal policy went effect Wednesday.

The Camden County Health Officer issued a Heat Advisory from noon until 8pm and authorities are asking you to check on elderly relatives and neighbors.

To avoid heat-related illness, the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
-Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering. A wide-brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun, it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
-Use air-conditioners and fans. Open windows to release trapped hot air.
-Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
-Wear lightweight clothing.
-Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
-Maintain a normal diet.
-Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
-Do not leave older people, children or pets alone in cars.
-Make sure your pets also have plenty of fresh drinking water.

The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.

The county added, serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. 

People experiencing those symptoms should get immediate medical attention. Before rescue crews arrive, the victim should be moved to a cool area, with excess clothing removed, sprayed with water, and fanned.

For now, Thursday morning’s rain is over. Expect a muggy evening with a pop-up storm possible.

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