State encourages residents to take precaution as temps rise across Michigan

Heat wave, drought showing no signs of slowing down
Posted at 4:35 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 16:35:58-04

(WXYZ) — With temperatures expected to reach close to 90 degrees, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding all residents to stay cool to beat the heat.

RELATED: Metro Detroit Forecast: Earliest 90° in metro Detroit since 1999

“It’s important Michiganders stay hydrated and understand the risks of excessive heat exposure during this warm weather,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health, in a press release. “Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance.”

To prevent complications from the heat, residents are encouraged to:

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.

For those without access to air conditioning, MDHHS says text or call Michigan 211 or contact your local health department to find out if there is a cooling center nearby.

You can also spend some time at an air-conditioned store, shopping mall or other public building – even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help. Remember to follow guidance regarding COVID-19 precautions including wearing a mask or other face covering if not vaccinated and practicing social distancing (keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others).

In addition to staying hydrated and out of the sun, MDHHS reminds residents to never leave children or pets alone in a car even with windows cracked. Temperatures inside a car can easily be double the temperature outside, and because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s they are more susceptible to heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are both forms of heat-related illness. Signs of heat-related illness vary but may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fainting, an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F) and tiredness. Heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature and can result in death if not treated promptly.