“People can get sick from the heat even on mild days in the low 80s,” said Jill Krueger, Director for Forest County Public Health Department. “As we head into the summer months, it’s important to stay cool, hydrated, and informed.”
From 2013-2017, there were 3,548 visits to Wisconsin emergency departments for heat-related illness, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. These trips to the emergency room are preventable when people are prepared. Follow these tips to stay safe during extreme heat:
- Stay in air conditioning. When possible, stay in air conditioning on hot days. If you don’t have air conditioning, head to libraries, malls, and other public spaces to keep cool.
- Check on loved ones. Be sure to check on older friends and neighbors who live alone and don’t have air conditioning.
- Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, stick to the cooler morning and evening hours. Wear light, loose clothing and take frequent, air conditioned breaks.
- Beware of hot cars. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on hot days. Avoid alcohol and hot, heavy meals.
- Stay informed. Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan outdoor activities safely. Pay attention to any extreme heat alerts.
If you start feeling overheated, weak, dizzy, nauseated, or have muscle cramps, you could be experiencing heat illness. Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, go to the emergency room.