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Picnics, fireworks, and Independence Day are the hallmarks of July. So too are heat and humidity. In July, mid-day temperatures in Michigan average in the mid 80’s. Add to this an average humidity level of just over 72% and you have a potentially dangerous combination. Prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity can cause the body to lose its ability to cool itself, ultimately resulting in heat stroke, a serious medical condition that can cause permanent disability or death if prompt emergency treatment isn’t provided.

To help protect against heat related illness, when it is hot and humid outside:

  • Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages.*
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day (preferably in an air-conditioned environment).
  • Avoid engaging in strenuous activities.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you eat (since digesting meat raises body temperature and increases water loss).
  • Limit direct sun exposure (which increases body temperature and can result in sunburn, which reduces the body’s ability to dissipate heat).
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Rest often.

*If your doctor has limited your intake of fluids or has put you on water pills, you should first check with him or her before increasing your fluid intake.