Take precautions as temperatures rise

With temperatures reaching 90 degrees locally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all residents to stay cool to beat the heat.

MDHHS routinely reviews emergency department data for heat-related illness. As daily temperatures rise above 80 degrees, emergency department visits for heat-related illness tend to increase. This is often more likely for the first high-heat event of the year as people are not as used to those kinds of temperatures and may not take the necessary precautions.

“It’s important Michiganders stay hydrated and understand the risks of excessive heat exposure during this warm weather,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance.”

To prevent complications from the heat, residents are encouraged to —

— Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.

— Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.

— Spend time indoors in air conditioning at home or in a cooling center.

— Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.

— Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.

— Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.

For those without access to air conditioning, text or call 211 or contact the local health department to find out if a cooling center is nearby. People can also spend time at an air-conditioned library, shopping mall or other public building — even a few hours in air conditioning can help.

In addition to staying hydrated and out of the sun, residents are reminded to never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle, even with windows cracked. Temperatures inside can easily be double the temperature outside, and because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, they are more susceptible to heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are both forms of heat-related illness. Signs of heat-related illness vary but may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fainting, an extremely high body temperature — above 103°F — and tiredness. Heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and can result in death if not treated promptly.


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