Staying safe in extreme heat: 'Check in on each other'
The heat wave sweeping across the area today and Wednesday is expected to break 100 degrees for the first time in a decade, and officials advise staying inside as much as possible.
For those who need to go out in the heat or who don't have air conditioning, preventive measures like wearing loose, light-colored clothing and staying hydrated are important, said Dr. Trevor Lewis, Cook County Health chair of emergency medicine.
Lewis added that people should be aware of signs of heat exhaustion, which include profuse sweat, muscle cramping, dizziness and headache.
Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should try to get out of the heat, drink water and place a cool washcloth on the head and neck.
Older residents are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, Lewis said, and he encouraged people to check in on their neighbors and relatives often.
Symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperatures, confusion and no longer sweating. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, Lewis said, and if you or someone near you is exhibiting these signs, get help immediately or call 9-1-1.
"One of the most important things is not only worrying about yourself but checking in on your neighbors, your friends and any elderly relatives," Lewis said.