Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Dr. Hanaa Hamdi, director of the Department of Health and Community Wellness, this week advised residents, especially vulnerable populations, to take precautions during this season’s dangerously hot weather. The city activated its cooling centers for seniors and the general population as of 11 a.m. Monday, and they remained open until 8 p.m.

Monday, Baraka said, “The city of Newark is facing temperatures of 95 degrees today and the week will continue to be warm. That will create health and safety issues for many residents. It is imperative that our residents drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors in a cool climate and avoid strenuous activity. Take advantage of our swimming pools at our recreation centers. Stay hydrated. Check on your neighbors, particularly the elderly or the young. Together we can beat the heat and continue to transform Newark into a city we can all believe in.”

Residents are encouraged to use air conditioning to stay cool or to retreat to a place that has air conditioning if it is not available at home; to drink water at regular intervals; and to limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Residents are also urged to check in on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors during this time. Here are additional health tips to keep in mind during the heat advisory.

CHECK ON THOSE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO THE HEAT

A small but crucial gesture can help ensure that we all have a safe and healthy summer: Get to know your neighbors, and contact neighbors and relatives—in person or by phone—at least twice a day during heat waves. Pay special attention to the elderly, the very young and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. Newarkers should also check in on neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family.

HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT

• Air conditioning is the best way to stay cool when the temperature is very high, especially during a heat advisory. However, some people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Newark residents are encouraged to use air conditioning. If air conditioning is unavailable at a residence, please assist those affected to get to a place where it is available.

• Stay out of the sun. Being in the sun is the quickest way to become overheated. Also, avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear lightweight, bright or light-colored clothing to reflect some of the sun’s energy.

• Drink fluids—water is best—even if you do not feel thirsty. Water is also the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Drinking fluids will help your body to maintain a cooler temperature. If you are on a fluid-restricted diet or taking diuretics, please consult your physician first. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

• Eat small, frequent meals.

• Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must perform any strenuous activity, it is advisable to do so during the coolest part of the day, which is in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

• If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.

• Cool down with a cool bath or shower.

• Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, visiting book stores, shopping at a mall or swimming at a pool or beach.

• Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above).

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.

• Never leave children or pets in the car.

• The city of Newark may open cooling centers in the five wards when temperatures become extremely high and humidity levels are also high. If cooling centers do open, you may find the nearest ones by calling 973-733-4311 or visiting www.ci.newark.nj.us.