As the temperatures continue to rise over the summer, the Buffalo Grove Health Department is asking residents to take precautionary measures to prevent heat-related illnesses. During prolonged periods of hot, humid weather, extra caution should be taken by the elderly, small children, and bedridden or chronically ill persons. These groups are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if they are unable to move to a temperature-controlled room and remain hydrated. During periods of extreme heat, it is important for all of us to be good neighbors and check on individuals, especially the elderly, who may live alone.
An important reminder during hot weather is to never leave an infant, elderly person, or even a pet in a parked car with the windows closed.
Health Department Tips
The Health Department offers these tips to avoid heat-related illnesses:
Drink extra fluids such as water, fruit juices or lemonade, especially during very humid weather.
Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
Apply at least SPF 15 sunscreen and lip balm, especially on children.
Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing (especially made of cotton, if possible) that does not interfere with the evaporation of perspiration.
When outside, wear a hat.
If possible, stay in an air-conditioned environment during the hottest part of the day.
Eat small meals and eat more often. Decrease food high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.
Wear sunglasses with an ANSI rating of 99 percent, and 98 percent UVA protection. These ratings should be found on the label of the sunglasses.
Wear sunglasses that are either wraparounds or close fitting to prevent the sun from filtering from the side. Try to engage in activities that involve strenuous labor in the evening or early morning hours to avoid the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m..
In a home that lacks air-conditioning, stay in the basement or lowest floor, close drapes to keep out the sun, or go to a shopping mall, library or other building that is air-conditioned.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can be caused by spending too much time in the heat, include:
Pale and clammy skin
Headache or cramps
Nausea and fainting
Symptoms of heat stroke, which can be caused by over-exposure to direct sunlight, are:
High body temperature
Skin that is red and dry
Loss of consciousness
Heat stroke can lead to death if untreated. An individual with any of these symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible.