Central Illinois has experienced warmer than average temperatures lately, and although the warmer weather is seen as a good thing by many, there are many health and safety risks associated with the warmer weather.
Many heat related fatalities can occur due to the warmer weather, including cases of children, elderly, and disable people, and pets being left in hot cars. According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, even with the windows slightly open, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 30 to 40 degrees in less than 30 minutes, and those effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm faster than adults.
Other heat related fatalities can be easily prevented by taking various steps to be prepared for the hot weather. IEMA says to stay hydrated by drinking at least 1 ½ to 2 quarts of fluids daily, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Also avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine when the mercury goes up. You can also take advantage of “cooling centers”, such as public pools, air-conditioned stores and malls, and movie theaters during extreme heat. Even a few hours a day in air conditioning can help prevent heat-related illnesses.
For additional tips on how to protect yourself and others from heat-related illness, you can visit the state’s Ready Illinois website at ready.illinois.gov.