Extreme Heat Tips to Help You Stay Safe
As the thermometer climbs, so does your chance of suffering from a heat related illness. To stay cool and safe in extreme heat:
- Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illnesses.
- Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car. Cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures quickly. Even if the windows are cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
- Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
- Electric fans may help, but fans will not prevent heat-related illness if temperatures are in the high 90s. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a better way to cool off.
- Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Be sure to think of your pets too. Provide plenty of fresh water, and leave the water in a shady area. Bring your pet indoors where it is cooler when you can. Never leave an animal in the car on hot days.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses
Heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can strike at any time. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, headache, absence of perspiration and dry, hot flushed skin. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html.
For a list of cooling centers in the Lombard area, visit the 211 DuPage Resources webpage.