This weekend's extreme heat and some tips for surviving it

This weekend's extreme heat and some tips for surviving it

Summer in Chicago--some love it, some hate it--but there is no doubt it is here. Festival season is in full swing, the 4th of July and Taste of Chicago are just around the corner and things are getting hot--like near 100 degrees--on the thermometer and 105-115 on the heat index.

This is probably too much of a good thing and it has come on fast giving us little time to prepare.

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has put together a comprehensive and valuable  list of how to deal with extreme  heat.

Tips to avoid leaving a child or pet in a locked car

An extremely deadly place to be is in a locked car. Here are some lifesaving tips:

Basic tips if your child or pet is locked in the car

Call 9-1-1.
While waiting, cover the windows to keep the car from heating up so fast.
If you break the car window, do it far away from the child or pet.

 To avoid locked car emergencies:

Look before you lock.  Open the backdoor and look in the backseat to assure that everyone is out of the car (even if you think you are childless)
Keep something you need in the backseat.  Put your cell phone, briefcase, computer, lunch, ID badge, left shoe, or anything essential to your daily routine beside your child.
Travel with a furry companion.  Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When baby is in the seat, the stuffed animal rides shotgun. The furry passenger serves as a reminder that baby’s in the back.
Always lock the doors.  Even if the car is in the garage, keep the doors locked to prevent curious children from getting into the car.
Put the keys and fobs away.  Kids might want to play with keys and be able to get into the car without parents’ knowledge.
Have a plan with childcare provider.  If your child does not show up to daycare or school without prior notice, someone should call to locate child.
If you see something, do something.  If you see a child or pet alone in a car, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

 Common sense precautions

As temperatures rise,  remind seniors to stay indoors, if possible, and for the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Everyone should stay hydrated, stay in a cool place and stay in touch with friends and family members who may need additional help.

Keep Your Cool

Chicago’s beaches and pools will be open this weekend to provide relief from the heat. Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are on duty and beach-goers should heed any warnings by officials. Visitors should check for updates on water conditions. Boaters are reminded to wear safety vests to keep everyone safe – even the best swimmers can experience a situation resulting in putting first responders at risk for a rescue as well.

Residents can also take advantage of the City’s Cooling Centers to find relief from extreme heat.  Here's how:

Call 3-1-1 to:

  • Locate a Cooling Center near you.
  • Request a well-being check for someone who may be suffering from the heat.

Register for the City’s Extreme Weather Notification System at

Learn to identify Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

 “Heat exhaustion” is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. “Heat stroke” is more serious, and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of heat stroke are:

  • An extremely high body temperature, such as 103 degrees or above
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong
  • Skin that is red, hot and dry

If you see someone suffering from heat stroke, take immediate action. Call 9-1-1  and then try to move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water. 

Safety Tips for our furry friends

Take extra precautions such as:

  • Give them lots of water (animals can get dehydrated very quickly)
  • Keep them indoors and/or out of the sun
  • Do not over-exercise your pet in the heat. Try to go our early in the morning or late evening
  • Never leave animals alone in a parked vehicle
  • Here's a link to more information on what happens to pets that are locked in a hot car

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Filed under: Chicago Festivals

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