The heat index, a measure of how hot it actually feels when humidity is taken into account, could reach 110 degrees Thursday in Plainfield, according to the National Weather Service.
A heat advisory is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, with an expected high of 101 degrees and peak heat index readings of 105 to 110.
The National Weather Service issued this warning on Tuesday with regard to Thursday’s heat:
“To minimize the threat of excessive heat exposure, take frequent breaks during any strenuous outdoor activity, preferably in an air-conditioned location. If possible, reschedule these activities during the cooler early morning or evening hours. Stay hydrated with non-alcoholic fluids, preferably water, and wear light-fitting loose clothes. Provide shelter from the sun and water for pets. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a minute.”
Cmdr. Anthony Novak said the Plainfield Police Department, 14300 Coil Plus Drive, will be open as a cooling center from 11 a.m. Thursday until the heat advisory is cancelled. Residents may simply go to the police department, or call 815-436-2431 for more information. Click here for a complete list of Will County cooling centers.
Keep your cool
The Will County Health Department cautions that infants, the elderly and the chronically ill are especially susceptible when dangerously hot weather persists. Residents are encouraged to visit family members, friends and neighbors who face special heat-related health risks at least twice a day. Infants and young children typically require more frequent attention.
The health department offers the following tips for staying safe in extreme temperatures:
- Drink lots of water and natural juices; avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, colas and drinks with large amounts of sugar. Caffeine and alcohol place added burdens on the circulatory system when heat and humidity are dangerously high.
- Limit exercise. If you must exercise during the hottest hours (typically 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose through sweat.
- If you must be outdoors during the hottest part of the day, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen product with an SPF rating of 15 or higher.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and avoid heavy meals. Cotton clothing is best. Several small, light meals are preferable to binge eating or drinking. Avoid the use of cooking ovens and other appliances that generate excessive heat.
- Do not allow anyone to sit in a hot car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a stationary vehicle without air-conditioning can reach extremely dangerous levels in minutes.
- If you are indoors without air-conditioning, keep shades drawn and blinds closed. Windows may be open slightly to take advantage of any breeze.
The effects of extreme heat conditions on the human body are cumulative and can lead to a variety of health complications, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body cope with dangerously high heat index values.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but they will not prevent heat-related illness when temperatures approach triple digits. Frequent showers or baths can help relieve heat-related stress on the body.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) emphasizes that pets should never be left in parked vehicles on hot days. The temperature inside a car can rise to 120 degrees within a matter of minutes. Pets can suffer irreversible organ damage and death.
Whenever pets are outside they require shade and cool water. Protection from the heat is a must, according to the Humane Society. A dog house does not provide relief from the heat.
The Humane Society recommends limiting exercise on very hot days to early morning or evening hours. Owners should be particularly careful with pets with white-colored ears, that are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets that may have difficulty breathing.
Walking dogs on grass is also suggested, since asphalt can become very hot and can burn a dog’s paws.
Know the signs of heat stroke in your pet:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- A rapid heartbeat
- Excessive thirst
- Dizziness, lack of coordination
- Profuse salivation
- A deep red or purple tongue
In cases of heat stroke:
- Move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
- Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over the pet.
- Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
Source: Humane Society of the United States
How do you plan to keep cool? Tell us in comments.
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