Keep Your Cool: Summer Safety Tips for the Heat

Follow these suggestions to avoid getting burned this summer

With temperatures this weekend set to be some of the highest the Chicago area has seen so far this year, and thousands expected to head outside for the city's 50th annual Pride Parade, keeping safe in the heat will be important. 

Here are tips from the National Weather Service you can use to help keep cool and stay safe.

Know The Signs
It can be easy to confuse heat stroke and heat exhaustion, so knowing what to look for is crucial. Heat stroke is more serious and common symptoms include a throbbing headache, no sweating, red, hot, or dry skin, nausea and vomiting. If you or someone around you exhibits any combination of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Click here for what you should watch for and do if you or someone you know might be suffering from heat stroke, heat exhaustion or sunburn. 

Reapply Sunscreen
If you must go outside, stay in the shade and apply sunscreen at least every two hours. Reapply immediately after swimming. 

Warmer Water Is Better Than Icy
Make sure to drink plenty of water, even if you aren’t thirsty. Excessive sweating will cause you to lose fluids at a rapid pace. Although ice water may feel refreshing, opt for room temperature fluids. When water is especially cold your body will exert more energy trying to adjust to the temperature.

Keeping Kids Safe

Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, the attending physician in the Pediatric ICU at Lurie Children’s Hospital, says each summer he sees a surge of young patients suffering from heat-related illness. Click here for tips for keeping kids safe in the heat.

Watch Out for Seatbelts
The inside of a car can be one of the most deadly places during a heat wave. Before you buckle up, check the metal on the seatbelt to avoid burns. Never leave a child or animal unattended in a vehicle even if you have the window rolled down. To ensure your children don’t accidentally trap themselves inside, keep the doors and trunk locked at all times.

What to Know About Fans
During times of extreme heat risk, limit the time you spend outside as much as possible. If you can’t get access to air conditioning, fans can help. But try not to point the fan directly at you because the dry air can make you become dehydrated faster, according to the National Weather Service.

Chicago-Area Cooling Centers

When the temperatures rise to dangerous levels, it's important to stay safe and to know where you can escape the heat. Cooling centers are available in Chicago and surrounding suburban counties. Click here for a full list of locations. 

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