How Hot is it?

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Summertime in the Midwest, especially Chicago, is something truly special. Camps, music festivals and beach days are all well-loved summertime activities by friends and family. Yet, high temperatures and lack of hydration can turn these fun times into dangerous situations. Heat exhaustion can have grave consequences, so it is important that we are aware of how to prevent it.

Heat exhaustion can be caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures mixed with dehydration, demanding physical activity and high humidity. Some signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, loss of appetite and feeling sick. Other common symptoms are excessive sweating, cramps, fast breathing and extreme thirst. Sports camps and outdoor festivals are common places where one could experience heat exhaustion.

To be prepared when attending events such as these, make sure to drink lots of water before and during said activity, wear lightweight clothing and sunscreen and take frequent breaks in the shade. Make sure that the people you are with are doing the same. While heat exhaustion can be short term and symptoms may disappear within thirty minutes, it can also be a critical illness, causing some patients to be rushed to the hospital.

Not all cases of heat exhaustion happen outside. Stuffy indoor environments can trap heat and create unsafe conditions. In May of 2022, three women in a Chicago senior housing facility died from heat exhaustion caused by a heat wave. They were indoors at the time. If temperatures are high indoors, it is important to sit by a fan, drink plenty of water and go to a space with air conditioning, if available. It is incumbent on these facilities and organizers of social events to ensure safety at their facilities and for those attending these events.

If you or someone you know become seriously affected by heat exhaustion, please reach out to the attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll by calling +1 (312) 761-5585. We encourage you to enjoy the hot summer days in Chicago, but we want you to experience them safely.