CONTACT: Beth Kaplan, (608)
HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE CAUTION WHEN HOT WEATHER RETURNS THIS WEEKEND
Wisconsin Heat Awareness Day is June 14
MADISON—State health officials are urging people to learn how to
prevent dangers associated with extreme heat as forecasters predict
another weekend of high temperatures.
"Sustained temperatures above 90 degrees pose a risk of heat-related
illness and death, especially when humidity levels exceed 35 percent,"
said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. "The risk is highest for
older adults and individuals with chronic illnesses, or for individuals
taking medications that inhibit perspiration and the body's natural
Although most heat-related illnesses involve people who are elderly
or have chronic illnesses, children, athletes, and outdoor workers are
also at risk.
Individuals, especially children or any household pets, should never
be left unattended in cars for any length of time. Even with windows
cracked open, temperatures inside a car can rise to life-threatening
levels in a matter of minutes.
General heat exhaustion symptoms include fainting, rash, fatigue and
nausea. Skin can become clammy and moist or hot and dry. Heat stroke can
come on rapidly and may progress to life-threatening illness within
minutes. If heat-related symptoms appear, action should be taken
immediately to reduce body temperature. This includes taking a cool
shower, bath or sponge bath. Wearing wet clothing also has a cooling
When temperatures are above 90 degrees, officials recommend the
- To avoid dehydration, make it a point to drink more fluids
during hot weather. Rapid weight loss may be a sign of dehydration.
- Do not plan strenuous activities during the warmest part of the
- Individuals at highest risk should spend the hottest part of the
day in a cool, preferably air-conditioned place.
- Use fans to increase ventilation unless temperatures exceed 90
degrees, at which point fans become ineffective in reducing
- Take action to reduce body temperatures if heat-related symptoms
- Make frequent checks on the status of elderly or ill relatives
or neighbors. If necessary, move them to an air-conditioned
environment during the hottest part of the day.
For more information on heat-related health concerns, visit:
# # #
June 13, 2012