Guidelines for Outdoor Summer Activities

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GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS & RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES DURING A HEAT EMERGENCY

The Elk Grove Village Department of Health and Community Services has developed the following recommendations for outdoor recreational and sports activities during extreme heat and/or high humidity.

Extreme heat is more than an issue of discomfort. It forces the body into overdrive, as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation. A heat emergency, heat advisory, or excessive heat warning is declared by the National Weather Service when a combination of temperature and humidity reach a point where it can be dangerous for the human body. People may be at risk for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke (sunstroke) or even death. The stagnant atmospheric conditions also trap pollutants in the air, which, when breathed can trigger respiratory problems for many people.

  • Watch or listen to the local news or Weather Channel for information on heat advisories or excessive heat watches or warnings.
  • Physical activity should be kept to a minimum during an extreme heat emergency. Good common sense should be exercised.
  • When an extreme heat emergency is declared, sporting activities, particularly those requiring clothing or sports gear that may cause the body to retain heat, should be cancelled.
  • Infants and small children should be kept indoors under cool conditions. Infants are especially at risk during conditions of extreme heat.
  • Older adults should also remain under cooler conditions. Older adults are particularly sensitive to heat because the older heart cannot send as much blood to the skin and age-related changes to the skin make sweating less efficient. Certain medications can also lead to dehydration. Many medications also cause skin to be more sensitive to the sun.

The effects of extreme heat can undermine your physical well being so slowly and subtly that their dangers aren’t apparent until it is to late.