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Tips To Stay Safe In Extreme Heat, Find A Cooling Center

Lake Michigan sunrise along North Avenue beach. (Credit: Natalie Cheng/CBS Chicago)

Lake Michigan sunrise along North Avenue beach. (Credit: Natalie Cheng/CBS Chicago)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Health officials are warning people about extreme heat this week, especially on Thursday, and are reminding people to take steps to avoid being overcome by the hot and humid conditions.

  • Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day to avoid dehydration and ensure that children stay well hydrated;
  • Wear loose, light cotton clothing;
  • Avoid or minimize physical exertion and direct exposure to the sun;
  • Do not let anyone sit in a hot, parked car, not even for a few minutes;
  • Your body loses water in the sun/heat – so keep your mouth closed to slow the rate of dehydration from your breathing.
  • Cool-Down Foods: Cool as a cucumber isn’t just an expression: Cucumbers, as well as watermelons, grapes, asparagus and mint, help to cool down the body.
  • More Heat Will Cool You Down: Take a tip from tropical climates: Sip hot teas and soups to help you feel cooler and more refreshed. Once your skin is damp, you’ll feel cooled by its evaporation.
  • Avoid over-eating
  • Stay cool under the covers: Fill a standard hot water bottle with ice water. Use it to cool your ankles and the back of your knees
  • Keep cool by slicing a cucumber and putting a piece right in the middle of your forehead. It works best when the cucumber is from the refrigerator and is sliced thin. It works right away to cool you down.
  • In Chicago, visit one of the City’s temporary cooling centers: Chicago police district headquarters; all 79 Chicago Public Library locations during public hours of operation; and other public buildings;
  • Call 3-1-1 for the nearest City of Chicago Cooling Center located within the six Community Service Centers operated by the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays;
  • Contact local Chicago Park District facilities to find out about beach and park hours and programs;
  • Sign up for extreme weather alerts by visiting http://www.AlertChicago.com and clicking on the Notify Chicago.

Will County also has collected a list of cooling centers, which you can find here. Same for Cook County and DuPage County

The State Of Illinois also has a list, and the page also allows you to search for a cooling center near you.