beat summer heatMARYVILLE – In preparation of construction season and summer heat, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is urging workers to familiarize themselves with the warning signs and preventative measures for heat-related illnesses.

“While working in extremely hot conditions, there can be serious, life-threatening consequences when signs of heat-induced illnesses such as heat stroke or exhaustion are ignored,” Crowe said. “In order to keep yourself and other workers safe, monitor your body temperature and drink plenty of water.”

More than half of outdoor, heat-related deaths occur in the first few days of working in hot situations because the body needs to build a tolerance to heat gradually. Workers that do not acclimatize to the heat and humidity face a much greater risk factor for serious injury or death, according to the Illinois Department of Labor.

While heat can affect anyone, it poses specific dangers to workers who do physical labor in the humidity – both indoors or outdoors.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related health problem and can be fatal if not recognized and treated quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed

To prevent heat-induced illnesses, frequent breaks in the shade to drink cold water are recommended. For more information and other recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov.

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