Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The long-awaited summer heat has finally arrived. And as we usually experience in Illinois, the heat seemed to go from mild to extreme overnight. Extremely warm weather can pose health risks not only for the elderly and disabled, but for those who work out doors as well.
Looking for a place to cool off in the summer heat? Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, and the Park Forest Police Department, 200 Lakewood Boulevard, are designated cooling centers. Village Hall is open during normal business hours while the Police Department is open 24 hours a day. Also, residents are encouraged to periodically check in on their family, friends, neighbors and the elderly to ensure that they are adapting well to the heat.
Hot Weather Safety Tips
According to health experts, one of the most dangerous factors during excessively hot weather is the addition of humidity. The combination of heat and humidity results in heat stress on humans and animals by interfering with the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating. Victims of prolonged or high heat stress can develop heat cramps or heat exhaustion. If heat stress continues, the condition can progress to heat stroke and death.
Heat illness symptoms include profuse sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, a weak but rapid pulse, fast and shallow breathing and/or fainting.
Heat stroke symptoms include extremely high body temperature (usually more than 105 degrees orally), red and dry skin, failure to sweat, decreased urination, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, seizures or unconsciousness.
Coma, paralysis and death can follow if emergency treatment is not immediately given.
How to Avoid Heat Stress
Using common sense to stay cool is the most important protection and taking responsibility to help older people, young children and others is the most important protection a family or community has for the health of all its members. In excessive heat:
- Drink two to five times more than usual amounts of water and non-sugar, non-alcoholic beverages to replace fluids lost in perspiration.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and wide-brimmed hats while in the sun.
- Use sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher.
- Take frequent breaks limiting physical activity. If warning signs such as pounding heart and shortness of breath occur, stop to rest in a cooler place.
- Stay in an air-conditioned area if possible. People who lack air conditioning at home may spend the hot hours of a day in air-conditioned public places. If no air conditioning is available, fans are helpful.
- Use a buddy system between co-workers in high-heat stress jobs.
- People age 65 or older should have a friend or relative check on them or call twice daily during a heat wave.
- When planning activities, choose cooler hours to be outdoors. Before prolonged work or exercise away from the safety of air conditioning, listen to weather forecasts. Forecasters often predict both the heat and the humidity and give special heat warnings.
Stay safe and enjoy the warm weather.
Source: Village of Park Forest Manager’s Office and Park Forest Fire Department