Summer is officially here and so are brutal high temperatures. With the heat index in the 90s, the Illinois Department of Public Health is giving tips on how to stay cool and safe.
One of the biggest concerns during periods of high temperatures are heat-related illnesses like heatstroke. The body cools itself by sweating, but if it is unable to cool properly or does not cool enough, a potentially deadly heat-related illness could set in. Symptoms of heatstroke to look out for include:
If someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 911 immediately and quickly cool the person by putting them in a cool bath or wrapping wet sheets around them. If the person is refusing water, vomiting, or showing a decreased level of consciousness, do not give them anything to eat or drink.
Heat exhaustion differs from heatstroke and can be characterized by the following symptoms:
If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, move them to a cooler place, take off or loosen tight clothing and apply cool wet cloths, and give them cool water to drink slowly.
To avoid heat-related illnesses, the IDPH recommends the following steps:
If you have to go outside during high temperatures, take it slow and avoid strenuous activity. If strenuous activity is necessary, do it in the early morning or evening hours when it is cooler. If you're engaged in physical activity, take regular breaks and rest in shady or cool areas.
Infants and young children, seniors, people with mental illness, and those who are physically ill are more prone to heat-related illnesses. Check on them often.
For more information, visit www.idph.state.il.us.
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