Officials are warning residents in Boston and beyond to take precautions over the next few days as a heat wave moves through the area.
Mayor Marty Walsh declared a heat emergency in effect through Saturday, with temperatures reaching or exceeding 90 degrees. With humidity, it'll feel more like100 to 104 degrees.
The heat index, or real feel, is a combination of the air temperature and the dew point, the “stickiness of the air, that is to say,” said meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell of the National Weather Service Boston.
Walsh has advised residents to follow heat safety tips, including using sunscreen containing an SPF-15 or higher, wearing loose fitting clothing, limiting outdoor activity to morning or evening hours and seeking rest and shade between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
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Residents are also encouraged to drink plenty of fluids while avoiding alcoholic beverages and those high in sugar or caffeine. Children and pets should not be left in cars, even for a brief period of time.
“Even with windows slightly cracked, you're generating temperatures within a car like 120, 130 degrees,” Sipprell said.
Sipprell also said that the NWS recommends that people do not eat protein-rich meals during a heat advisory.
“When you consume a lot of protein, like steak for example, your body produces heat in that metabolic process and it increases your water loss,” he said.
Walsh reminded Boston residents to check in on the elderly and family or neighbors who may be at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. The homeless population is extremely vulnerable to dehydration during excessive heat, and those observing anyone who appears to be in distress should call 911.
Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) will be open to the public beginning Thursday, offering cooling centers and pool access for relief from the heat.