MDHHS urges Michiganders to be wary of heat-related illnesses, poor air quality

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As temperatures are rising to near 90 degrees, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reminding Michiganders to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness, and that certain counties have higher-than-normal levels of ozone.

As temperatures rise above 80 degrees, emergency room visits related to heat increase, especially during the first heat-related events of the year.

“It’s important Michiganders stay hydrated and understand the risks of excessive heat exposure during this warm weather,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “Young children, older adults and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance.”

To prevent complications from the heat, residents are encouraged to:

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.

For residents without air conditioning, text or call Michigan 211 or contact your local health department to find a cooling center near you. You can also spend time in an air conditioned store, mall or other public building as even a few hours of air conditioning can help prevent overheating.

Michiganders are also reminded to not keep animals or children in a car, even with the windows cracked. Children are more susceptible to heat strokes as their body heats up three-five times faster than an adult’s.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has also issued an Air Quality Action alert for several counties due to potentially harmful levels of ozone. High ozone levels can harm children, the elderly and those with breathing problems.

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