Excessive heat warning issued: 8 ways to beat the heat during the Ann Arbor Art Fair
AnnArbor.com file photo
The National Weather Service predicts high temperatures in the low to mid-90s today, Friday and Saturday; tomorrow could near 100. The NWS has issued an excessive heat warning until 10 p.m. Thursday to increase awareness about the dangers of heat waves, and Washtenaw County has activated its emergency response plan.
Here are 8 tips to avoid heat-related illness while browsing booths full of creativity lining on Ann Arbor streets, or spending any amount of time out of the AC in the coming days.
1. Hydrate: Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
Note: the City of Ann Arbor has converted fire hydrants into temporary, free tap water stations around the Art Fair. They are located at Main and Liberty, South University and State, North University, and Maynard at Liberty.
2. Understand and learn to recognize these signs of heat-related illnesses:
- Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion and an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
- Heat exhaustion occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
- Heat stroke, or sunstroke, is life-threatening. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 105 degrees.
3. Understand who is more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses:Those who are most at risk of heat-related illness or death include older adults, children, infants and people with chronic medical conditions. Outdoor work or activity, certain medications or pregnancy may also increase your risk. First aid stations are available at the fair, on Liberty just west of Division, and just off the corner of North University and Fletcher.4. Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
5. Eat small meals frequently: Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
6. Take it easy: Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
7. Take breaks from the heat indoors when possible: If air-conditioning is not available, take a break from the sun on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Note that electric fans do not cool; they simply circulate the air.
8. Be a good neighbor: During heat waves, remember to check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
Make sure to look for weather updates on our site and get the forecast on AnnArbor.com's weather page.
Cindy Heflin contributed to this report. Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at email@example.com or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter