The hot weather will return Monday, with high temperatures expected to be in the 90s, except in the 80s from Manistique east near Lake Michigan. This is the perfect time to review some summer heat safety tips. These and many more can be found on our Michigan Weather Preparedness page.
1. Drink plenty of fluids. During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
2. Replace salt and minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
3. Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body's thermostat will have a chance to recover.
4. Pace yourself. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
5. Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
6. Don’t leave children or pets in cars. Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone or any pet left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.
Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat!
One of the biggest weather related risks during the summer months is the possibility of a child dying in a vehicle from heat stroke. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, and 50 degrees in an hour- even when outside air temperatures are in the 70s! The inside of a car acts like a greenhouse, where actual temperatures inside the vehicle can reach 120°F in minutes and approach 150°F in as little as an hour! This can cause hyperthermia (heat stroke) in only minutes, particularly in children, whose body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adult. Studies have shown that "cracking the windows" provides little (if any) relief.
Since 1998 at least 532 children have died nationwide from being left in a hot car. Half of these were children that were forgotten by a parent or other caregiver, and nearly 20 percent died when parents knowingly left their child in a vehicle. The rest died playing in an unattended vehicle.
All of these tragic deaths are preventable! To help bring awareness to this issue, the National Weather Service is using the slogan "Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat" to remind people to remember to check for small children in a car seat and to never leave children unattended in a vehicle- even for a few moments. Remember that pets should also never be left in a vehicle during the summer months.
The following are basic safety recommendations:
Much of the information on "Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat" is based on research by Mr. Jan Null, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, Adjunct Professor of Meteorology at San Francisco State University, CA, and a 34 year veteran with the National Weather Service. You can find his research and information- including the latest statistics- at Golden Gate Weather Services.
Additional information on the dangers of heat can also be found at the National Weather Service Heat Safety webpage.