Warning about heat-related illness


CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency is reminding people to watch for the symptoms of heat-related illness.

Heat-related illness can take many forms ranging from a mild case of heat exhaustion to a more serious and life-threatening case of heat stroke.

Rising to temperatures of 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes can result in death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness include:

  • An extremely high body temperature of 103 degrees or higher
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no signs of perspiration)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Nausea

Health officials want to remind you to never leave children, elderly persons, or pets in a parked car.

Precautions to avoid heat-related illness:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink at least 48-64 ounces of cool non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages (caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and will increase dehydration). Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
  • Reduce the amount of activity during the hottest parts of the day. If you must be active during those times, strive to take frequent breaks in a shady or cool area.
  • Wear light-colored and lightweight clothes.
  • Take a cool shower or sponge bath if you begin feeling over heated.
  • Retreat to an air-conditioned environment if you begin to feel overly warm. If you do not have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, grocery store, or other public place to cool off.

If you or someone you know shows signs of a heat-related illness, have someone call for medical assistance while you begin the cooling process:

  • Take the person to an air-conditioned, cool, or shady area.
  • Cool the person rapidly by spraying cold water from a shower or garden hose.
  • Monitor the body temperature carefully until the temperature drops below 101-102 degrees.
  • Give plenty of cool (not cold) non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

The following cooling centers are available throughout the local area:

  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District –Champaign
  • Marketplace Mall – Champaign
  • Public Aid Office, North Country Fair Drive – Champaign
  • Lincoln Square Mall – Urbana
  • Public Libraries – Champaign, Urbana, Tolono

CUPHD is a kid-friendly cooling center and is open from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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