News Flash


Posted on: July 14, 2023

Heat Safety


The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona remind area residents of the importance of staying safe in this summer’s heat.  RaeAnn Tucker, Health Department Director of Health Promotion states, "Summer’s warmth, enjoyed by so many people, can be dangerous when the temperature climbs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  In addition to making one feel fatigued and uncomfortable, unchecked exposure to excessive heat can lead to serious illness and even death."

 Tucker adds, "During hot and humid weather the body's ability to cool itself is affected.  When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and heat-related illnesses may develop.

Heat-related illnesses can range from heat cramps to heat exhaustion to more serious heat stroke.  Heat stroke can result in death and requires immediate medical attention."

 Everyone is affected by extreme heat; however, those people at higher risk of a heat-related illness include: older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic heart/lung problems, people with disabilities, overweight persons, those who work in hot settings, users of some medications, and people who are isolated that don't know when or how to cool off or when to call for help.


 To avoid heat related stress remember:

  • Avoid outdoor activities from noon to 4pm.
  • Use fans or air-conditioners liberally or visit air-conditioned places (shopping malls, libraries, theatres).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

 For more information on heat safety and other summer survival strategies  find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter and Instagram.

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