IDPH gives tips on keeping cool during high temps - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

IDPH gives tips on keeping cool during high temps

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

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:

  • Headache
  • Red, dry face
  • Skin that is hot to the touch
  • Body temperature of 105 degrees or more
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures, irregular heartbeat

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:

  • Dizziness
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Nausea
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Muscle tremors, cramping

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:

  • Drink more fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Take cool showers, baths, or sponge baths to reduce body temperature
  • Protect your body with lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and avoiding direct sunlight and wearing SPF 15 or higher
  • Never leave any person or pet alone in a closed, parked vehicle - the temperature inside increases rapidly and can lead to brain damage or death
  • Stay indoors, and if possible, in air conditioning

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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