IEMA, local emergency management agencies offer heat safety tips

The hottest days of summer are just around the corner, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies are offering heat safety tips to help people play it safe when temperatures rise.

IEMA Director James K. Joseph said one of the most important safety tips when temperatures rise is to never leave children, elderly people, disabled adults or pets in parked cars, even for a short time.

Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to dangerous levels even if the windows are slightly open, and can lead to brain damage or death.

The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. Hot weather tips include staying hydrated by drinking at least 1½ to 2 quarts of fluids daily, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine. Avoid overexertion and strenuous outdoor activities if possible.

And don’t forget your pets. Offer pets extra water and place the water bowl in a shaded area if outdoors. Make sure pets have a shady refuge where they can escape direct sun exposure.

If you or someone around you begins experiencing dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion and a rapid pulse, seek medical attention immediate, as these could be the symptoms of heatstroke.

Additional tips on how to protect yourself and others from heat-related illnesses are available on the state’s Ready Illinois website at