With temperatures climbing into the 90s, the Michigan Department of Community Health is advising residents of the health risks associated with high temperatures and measures they can take to stay cool.
"Many locations have reached the low to even mid 90s today," said TV5 Meteorologist Lauren Fahrenkrug. "If you factor in the relative humidity, you can figure out the heat index, or how hot it "feels." Heat index values are well into the 90s today, even close to 100 degrees."
Any time temperatures reach the high 80s and above, they can cause body temperature to rise. This can result in muscle cramps, dizziness, severe heat illness and even death. Heat illness can occur when the body is unable to cool down.
The body normally cools down by sweating, but during extremely hot weather, sweating may not be enough to cool the body. That's when the risk of overheating to the point of becoming ill occurs.
"On days like this, it's best to avoid prolonged outdoor exposure as heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible," said Fahrenkrug. "Unfortunately, there isn't any relief in store for us tomorrow. We have another day of temps in the 90s and high dew points, making for a very hot and uncomfortable day."
Tips to Avoid Heat Illness:
• Use air conditioning or spend time in air-conditioned locations, when possible.
• Take a cool bath, shower, or swim.
• Minimize direct exposure to the sun.
• Limit time outdoors as much as possible, but take frequent breaks if you must be outside.
• Stay hydrated – drink water or nonalcoholic fluids.
• Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes.
• Check on your neighbors, friends and family members, especially those who are older or have health issues.
• Never leave children, the elderly, or pets unattended in a vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down, or just for a few minutes, it is never OK to leave anyone in a vehicle in extreme heat.
• Use a fan when the windows are open or the air conditioner is on as the weather begins to heat up. Once the temperature reaches the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat illness.
Copyright WNEM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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