Residents should take precautions to ensure their health and well-being
As residents head outdoors to enjoy the annual Ribfest event and other summer activities, the City of Naperville reminds them to take precautions to ensure their health, safety and well-being during anticipated days of high heat.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in the Naperville area are forecast to reach 100 degrees on Thursday, with temperatures in the 90s expected throughout the weekend. As of Wednesday morning, a Heat Advisory is in effect for the area from noon to 8PM on Thurs., June 28. A Heat Advisory means that a period of hot weather is expected and that high temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
“This weekend, many families will get an early start on celebrating our nation’s independence by heading to local outdoor festivals, including Ribfest,” Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Nelson said. “Extended time outdoors in the sun and heat can be dangerous. Please use common sense when spending time outside and take precautions to stay hydrated with water and natural juices. Periodic breaks in the shade are also recommended.”
Below are tips to enjoy summer sun safely:
- While overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause temporary, painful sunburn, it can also lead to more serious, long-term health problems such as skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts, eye damage and immune system suppression. Children are particularly at risk.
- Generously apply sunscreen. As a rule of thumb, it takes about one ounce to cover all exposed skin. This should be done 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses.
- Seek shade when possible and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10AM and 4PM.
- Use extra caution near water or sand, which reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Check the UV index, which provides information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. The UV index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and Environmental Protection Agency.
- For babies younger than six months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding sun exposure and dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats. Parents can also apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) to small areas like the face and back of the hands if protective clothing and shade are not available.
During hot weather, it is also important to become familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do if you or someone you know is suffering from either of these conditions. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, headache, cool and clammy skin, heavy perspiration, shallow breathing, muscle tremors and cramping.
Additional symptoms for heat stroke, which can be fatal, include severe headache, a red and dry face, skin that is hot to the touch, rapid and shallow breathing, significantly elevated body temperature, weak pulse, changes in consciousness and seizures or cardiac arrhythmias. Any person suffering from these symptoms is in a life-threatening situation and 9-1-1 should be called immediately.
During periods of extreme hot weather, the elderly population, those taking medications for chronic illnesses and those with special needs are among the most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Well-being checks for these individuals should be performed frequently during hot weather.
Please note that Monday through Friday the Naperville Municipal Center, located at 400 S. Eagle St., can be used as a cooling center during normal business hours of 8AM to 5PM. Residents can also seek shelter at the following locations:
- County administrative buildings
- Park District facilities
- Senior Centers
- Township offices
- Shopping malls
- Other public places
Tips to Stay Cool
The following are hot weather tips to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses:
- Stay in an air-conditioned space at home, the library, the mall, a movie theater or at a cooling center.
- Drink lots of water and natural juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and soft drinks.
- Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but keep windows slightly open.
- Stay out of the sun and avoid going out in the heat.
- Keep electric lights off or turned down.
- Take cool baths or showers.
- Wear loose, light cotton clothing.
- Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.
- Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a child or pet in a hot car.
- Check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay cool and safe.
- If you or anyone you know needs emergency medical attention, call 9-1-1.
- It is against the law to open a fire hydrant. An open hydrant hinders the Fire Department’s ability to fight fires, reduces water pressure in your home and may cause basement flooding.
- During heat emergencies, seniors are urged to contact their local area agencies on aging or the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at (800) 252-8966 for assistance with locating senior centers, adult day service sites and other buildings that serve as cooling centers.
- Provide water and shelter from the sun at all times for your pets, and restrict activity during extreme heat.
- Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.
Residents should also familiarize themselves with terms pertaining to heat emergencies:
- An excessive heat watch means conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local excessive heat warning criteria in the next 12 to 48 hours.
- An excessive heat warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of the following criteria: a heat index of at least 105°F for more than three hours per day for two consecutive days, or a heat index more than 115°F for any period of time.
- An excessive heat advisory means hazardous heat conditions have begun or will begin within 36 hours and, if caution is not exercised, they could become life threatening
Residents are encouraged to stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or visit the National Weather Service website at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/ for current weather forecasts. More information on cooling centers is available at www.naperville.il.us/keepcool.aspx. Anyone needing assistance during a period of extreme heat should call City Dispatch at (630) 420-6187.