|Summer is upon us and this week’s high temperatures and humidity should remind us that getting too hot can make you sick. |
Getting overheated to the point you are uncomfortable is one thing, but you really can become ill from the heat if your body can't compensate for it and properly cool you off. Heat exposure can even kill you: it caused 8,015 deaths in the United States from 1979 to 2003.
These are the main things affecting your body's ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather:
High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won't evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.
Here are some facts about which people are at greatest risk for heat-related illness and what protective actions to take to prevent illness or death:
People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases.
But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
Summer Cooling Stations
Livingston County Health Center
800 Adam Drive M-F 8-12 noon & 1-4 pm
Grand River Multi-Purpose Center (Senior Center)
607 W. Bus 36 Hwy M-F 8-4pm
Livingston County Library
450 Locust M-Th 9-7pm; Fri 9-5pm; Sat 9-4pm Closed Sun
1725 Locust M-Th 5 am – 10 pm; Fri 5-9pm; Sat 7-5pm; Closed Sun
Calvary Baptist Church
206 Locust M-F 8-12 noon; 1-3 pm
913 Webster Daily 11 am – 6pm
City Hall (Walking Track)
715 Washington M-F 8-5pm
440 Locust M-F 9-4pm; Sat 10-1pm