City of Milwaukee Health Department Reminds Residents to Stay Safe in Hot Weather
Residents are advised to stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed
MILWAUKEE – High temperatures are expected over much of Wisconsin during the next week. The forecast indicates heat index values may rise above 95 to 100 Thursday through Saturday, creating potentially dangerous conditions, especially for those most susceptible to heat-related illness. The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) reminds residents to take steps to stay cool and safe during this heat wave.
“Summer heat is finally here,” said Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jeanette Kowalik. “With this is mind, we must be vigilant about protecting ourselves, our loved ones, neighbors, and pets from the dangers of extreme heat. The MHD is committed to increasing awareness of extreme weather including the impacts of climate change which often impacts children, older adults, those with chronic conditions and low incomes more severely. Prevention is key to surviving the heat.”
The MHD, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends the public take the following precautions during hot weather conditions:
- Slow down and limit physical activity, and try to spend part of your day in air-conditioned spaces such as shopping malls, movie theaters, or libraries.
- Never leave children, persons with a disability, or pets in a parked car – as temperatures can become life threatening within minutes.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool baths or showers and use wet towels on your skin to help you cool down.
- Use fans to increase ventilation, unless temperatures exceed 90 degrees at which fans become ineffective in reducing heat-related illness.
- Check in on those most-at-risk twice a day:
- Infants and young children;
- Older adults;
- People with disabilities;
- People with psychiatric illnesses, and people with chronic heart or lung problems;
- Overweight persons;
- Those who work outdoors or in hot settings; and
- People taking certain medications related to blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day regardless of thirst, to avoid dehydration.
- Avoid consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as these can increase heat effects.
- Remind others to drink enough water.
- Check local news and weather reports for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
- Be aware of symptoms of heat-related illness:
- Heat exhaustion symptoms include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, or fainting.
- Heat stroke symptoms include: extremely high body temperature, hot and dry skin (no sweating), rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness.
- If you are experiencing symptoms in times of high heat, move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If symptoms worsen or don’t improve, please visit your local urgent care or emergency room.
In conditions of high or extreme heat, the MHD encourages residents to seek out designated cool sites. A list of cooling sites in Milwaukee, as well as heat safety tips, can be found online at www.milwaukee.gov/hotweathersafety.