Heat-related illness

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What to look for

What to do

Heat stroke

- Body temperature 103ºF or higher

- Hot, red, dry or damp skin

- Fast, strong pulse

- Headache

- Feeling dizzy

- Nausea

- Feeling confused

- Passing out

Call 9-1-1 right away. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.

- Move the person to a cooler place

- Lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath

- Do NOT give the person anything to drink

Heat exhaustion

- Heavy sweating

- Cold, pale, and clammy skin

- Fast, weak pulse

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- Nausea or vomiting

- Muscle cramps

- Feeling tired or week

- Feeling dizzy

- Headache

- Passing out

- Move to a cool place

- Loosen clothing

- Use cool, wet cloths or take a cool bath

- Sip water


- You are throwing up

- Symptoms get worse

- Symptoms last longer than an hour

Construction workers will have to be careful Tuesday through the end of the week with a dangerous heat warning issued by the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS – The National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a dangerous heat warning for Tuesday through Friday of this week.

The Weather Service issued the bulletin today. Monday, a high of around 90 degrees is forecast, but the lower temps will not last long. It is predicted to rise to 102 degrees in St. Louis on Tuesday.

On the Fourth of July on Wednesday, a high of 103 degrees is predicted for St. Louis. Thursday a high of 105 degrees is predicted for St. Louis, while Friday, max temp of 101 degrees is predicted for St. Louis. After slightly cooler conditions today, dangerous heat will likely build back in for Thursday through Friday. This dangerous heat is likely to cause heat-related illnesses to those with long outdoor exposure.

With hot weather with high humidity forecasted for the next several days, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D. is reminding people about the importance of staying cool in order to avoid heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Hot weather can cause heat-related illness which ranges in severity from relatively mild heat cramps to life-threatening heat stroke. It’s important for people to recognize the signs of heat-related illness and take action to prevent becoming sick,” said Director Shah.

“Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. However, if temperatures and humidity are extremely high, sweating is not effective in maintaining the body’s normal temperature. If the body does not cool properly or does not cool enough, a person may suffer a heat-related illness, which can become serious or even deadly.”

An easy to read chart of heat-related illnesses, what to look for, and what to do is below.

  • Heat-related death or illnesses are preventable if you follow a few simple steps.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don't have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages. To find cooling centers in State facilities go to https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx.
    Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink water often. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.
  • Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.
  • Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle. The air temperature inside a car rises rapidly during hot weather and can lead to brain damage or death.

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