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Beating the Heat

With high temperatures in the Chicago area, residents are reminded to prepare for the weather and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

Weather Alerts/Advisories

Friday, August 3, 2012 An AIR QUALITY ALERT is in effect from 11:00 a.m. TO MIDNIGHT CDT SATURDAY NIGHT...

THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY HAS DETERMINED THAT AN AIR POLLUTION ACTION DAY WILL BE DECLARED FOR FRIDAY AUGUST 3RD THROUGH SATURDAY AUGUST 4TH FOR THE GREATER CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA.

AN AIR POLLUTION ACTION DAY IS DECLARED WHEN WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE SUCH THAT WIDESPREAD OZONE AND OR PARTICULATE LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO BE AT OR ABOVE THE UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS CATEGORY OF THE AIR QUALITY INDEX. ACTIVE CHILDREN AND ADULTS AND ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WITH PULMONARY OR RESPIRATORY DISEASE SUCH AS ASTHMA SHOULD LIMIT PROLONGED OUTDOOR ACTIVITY.

 

Hot Weather Tips

  • Stay in an air-conditioned space at home, the library, the mall, movie theater or at a cooling center.
  • Drink lots of water and natural juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and soft drinks.
  • Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but keep windows slightly open.
  • Stay out of the sun and avoid going out in the heat.
  • Keep electric lights off or turned down.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Wear loose, light cotton clothing.
  • Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.
  • Avoid or minimize physical exertion.
  • Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a child or pet in a hot car.
  • Check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay cool and safe, especially the very young and the elderly.

For Pets 

  • Provide water and shelter from the sun at all times.
  • Restrict activity during extreme heat.
  • Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.

Cooling Centers

Table 1: Cooling center locations.
Location Hours of Operation
Downers Grove Park District Recreation Center
4500 Belmont Road
Mon - Fri: 8a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat -Sun; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m
Downers Grove Library
1050 Curtiss St. 
Mon-Fri; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sat; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sun; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Lincoln Center
935 Maple Ave. 
Mon-Fri; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat: 8 a.m. to noon
Village Hall
801 Burlington Ave.
Mon-Fri; 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
Police Department Lobby
825 Burlington Ave.
Mon-Fri; 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
  • Shopping Malls
  • Other public places

Be Aware of the Signs of Heat Illness

  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, headache, cool and clammy skin, heavy perspiration, shallow breathing, muscle tremors and cramping.
  • Additional symptoms for heat stroke, which can be fatal, include severe headache, a red and dry face, skin that is hot to the touch, rapid and shallow breathing, significantly elevated body temperature, weak pulse, changes in consciousness and seizures or cardiac arrhythmias. 

Any person suffering from these symptoms may be in a life-threatening situation and should call 9-1-1 immediately. 

Heat Exhaustion

Signs and Symptoms

  • Cool, clammy, pale skin.
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatique, weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea, sometimes vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weak and rapid pulse

First Aid for Heat Exhaustion

  • Move the patient to a cool environment.
  • Remove as much clothing as possible.
  • Place person in a supine position with legs elevated.
  • Sponge the patient with cool water, and fan him if the humidity is not excessively high.
  • Avoid chilling the patient; just make him comfortably cool.
  • Do not give fluids by mouth, especially if the patient is nauseated

 Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, unlike heat exhaustion, strikes suddenly, with little warning. When the body's cooling system fails, the body's temperature rises fast. This is a serious emergency.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Very high temperature (104 degrees F or higher)
  • Hot, dry, red skin
  • No sweating
  • Deep breathing and fast pulse, then shallow breathing and weak pulse
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion, delirium, hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness

First Aid for Heat Stroke

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Perform CPR if the person is not breathing. Until emergency care arrives, do the following: 
  • Move the person to a cool place indoors or under a shady tree.
  • Place the patient in a semi-reclining position with feet higher than the head.
  • Use any means at your disposal to cool the patient rapidly! Improvise with whatever is available. A bathtub filled with cold water and ice cubes is ideal; otherwise, a nice-cold shower, crushed ice rubbed over the patient's head and body, a gardenhose, cold pack, continued washings with rubbing alcohol, a wet sheet wrapped around the patient with a fan blowing - any of these will do, but speed is essential.

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