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Be On Alert For Heat Stroke

Here are warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. An expert advises spending at least two hours a day in air conditioning--here's where you can find that.

 

With Thursday's temperatures climbing to near 100 degrees F or more, many people may be at risk for heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.

Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Executive Director Michael Masters said, "A few hours spent in cool conditions can prevent dehydration and other heat-related illnesses." 

The county, and other sources, advised:

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you get over-heated, take a cooling shower or bath.
  • Never leave children or pets in a locked car, even with the window partially open, and when you are out and about, keep and eye out for children and pets in locked cars.
  • If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours a day in cool conditions (a list of local places follows).
  • Drink water regularly, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day. 
  • Check on elderly or homebound neighbors to see if they need help.

Signs of heat exhaustion, according to the Mayo Clinic, include: 

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  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Rapid, weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, moist, pale skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Heat cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine

To treat, get the person into the shade or air conditioning, have them drink cool water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage, have them lay down with their feet slightly elevated, loosen any tight clothing, and monitor so it does not turn into the life-threatening condition of heat stroke.

Heat stroke, which is dangerous, includes those symptoms plus confusion, irritability or personality changes, unconsciousness, a markedly elevated body temperature and a cessation of sweating. Immediately call 911 and, until help arrives, take the same steps to treat heat exhaustion.

Here's where to go locally to cool off:

  • has early morning and late evening hours.
  • Maine Township Building, 1700 Ballard Road, Park Ridge
  • Park Ridge Library
  • Park Ridge Park District and Centennial Pool, 100 S. Western, Park Ridge
  • Niles Township, 5255 Main Street, Skokie
  • Northfield Township, 3801 W. Lake Ave., Glenview

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