Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

Learn how to keep your family cool and safe as summer heat and humidity take their toll, including local heat relief programs that are available.

woman with a fan

It's considered "extreme heat" when it's above 90° and/or humidity is much higher than average.

  • Read our simple tips to stay cool, informed and safe in extreme weather.
  • People over age 65, infants, children and those with chronic medical issues are most vulnerable.
  • Pets also are vulnerable to heat and should have adequate shade and water.

Summer in the Midwest can be unbearably hot and humid. "Extreme heat" is a weather designation for when summer temperatures rise above 90° and/or humidity is significantly higher than average.

Here are some simple tips for staying safe in extreme heat.

Stay cool

  • Cool off at an air-conditioned mall or movie theater.
  • Take a cool shower or bath or place ice or cool water on your pulse points (arteries in your wrist and neck).
  • Wear light, loose fitting clothing.

Stay informed

  • Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
  • Learn the symptoms of heat illness.

Stay safe

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Replace electrolytes (salt and minerals) lost through perspiration by drinking a sport drink like Gatorade. But don’t overdo it—drink only one or two a day.
  • Eat light, nutritious meals.

Who’s most vulnerable?

People over age 65, infants and children and those with a chronic medical condition are most endangered by extreme heat. Outdoor workers and athletes are also at risk. Pets suffer from the heat, too. Make sure they have adequate shade and water. Check on those you know are at risk, and never leave children or pets unattended in a car.

Help is Available

We partner with Bishop Sullivan's ElderCool Program each summer to help install hundreds of air conditioners for low-income elderly residents. We also work with community organizations to distribute fans to those in need.

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