Doctors in Central Illinois caution about health risks of high temperatures

Estimated read time 4 min read

Enjoying the sun during warm temperatures can pose a threat if proper care is not taken. This week is expected to go above 90 degrees and doctors alert people that there are risks apart from sunburn.


Health problems due to heat

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke may begin with muscle cramps. Dr. Kurt Bloomstrand of OSF Emergency Medicine mentions that experiencing cramps could be your first warning sign indicating a need for rest from the sun.

Maintaining hydration with water and electrolytes is tremendously important. Signs such as feeling dizzy, nauseous, or no sweating could lead to a heatstroke. Dr. Bloomstrand recommends seeking medical help when one experiences headaches, feels lightheaded, and notably when they cease sweating.”


Tips to remain cool and safe

  • Wear clothing that’s light in color and loose fitting helps bounce off the heat and maintain coolness.
  • Persistently consume water for hydration and maintain balance of electrolytes.
  • Avoid rigorous activities when the temperature reaches peak during the day.
  • Spend more time indoors or stay under shade whenever possible.
  • Use fans and air conditioning intelligently to cool your indoor spaces.


Heat’s impact on pets

The heat can harm pets as well. Veterinarian Dr.Todd Lykins of Pet Pro says pets, mainly dogs, often get burns on their pads due to hot asphalt exposure which leads to them suffering from heatstroke similar to humans.


Maintain pet safety by,

  • Avoid taking them for walks on heated surfaces during maximum temperature times.
  • Ensure they have enough water at all times.
  • Keep them indoors or in shady spots.
  • Risks when children and pets are left inside vehicles

“Don’t leave your children or any animals alone in your vehicle. During high temperatures, the interiors of vehicles can attain dangerous heat levels”, emphasizes Dr.Bloomstrand.


Heatwave and Records of Temperature

In the anticipation of extremely high temperatures a heat alert has been issued. People living in Midwest including Illinois may experience intense heat this week. The Office of Emergency Management encourages people for,

  • Drinking sufficient water.
  • Avoiding outdoor activities.
  • Dressing in loose cotton clothes.
  • Ensuring pets are not left inside closed vehicles.


Checking on friends, family and Neighbours regularly.

The locality will be experiencing heat indices around 100 mixing high heat with damp conditions. “When humidity levels exceed 60%, it essentially traps a person and stops the dissipation of body heat into surroundings inhibiting cooling” explains Dr.George Chiampas, emergency and sports medicine physician with Northwestern Medicine.


Preparing for Heat

  • Planning ahead to tackle the suns’ effect is critical.
  • You should never go out alone during peak hours.

If symptoms of lightheadedness, confusion or any signs related to illness from excessive exposure to heat arise take immediate actions.

Keep a track of the weather forecast and remain informed about impending heat warnings.

Effect on Health due to Heat

Heat causes the most deaths due to weather every year in America killing twice as many as hurricanes and tornadoes combined. Millions could be exposed to health hazards owing to the expected extreme temperatures this week.

High temperature predictions are in mid to upper 90s potentially at par or breaking records. Level 3 heat risk is expected in several parts including states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.


Keep Cool and Safe, Guidance for Public Health’

  • Avoid stepping outside and exerting yourself physically when the day is at its hottest.
  • Stay in shady areas as sun exposure can raise temperature perception by 10-15 °C.
  • Cool down your home by opening the windows for intake of night air and closing them during daylight hours.
  • Maintain hydration by drinking one cup of water every hour exceeding to 2-3 liters a day in total.
  • Persistently check on elderly people over 65 years, individuals having heart, lung or kidney issues and those who live alone.

Child Safety

Irrespective children should avoid exposure to sunlight during peak hours. Dress them in lightweight loose clothes and use wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Ensure pets and children are never left inside parked vehicles.



As the heatwave continues, it’s vital to take precautions to stay safe and healthy. By following these guidelines and staying informed, you can help protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the dangers of extreme heat.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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