As Kankakee County continues to see warmer temperatures during these summer months, Kankakee County Health Department warns of the dangers of prolonged exposure to extreme heat. Extreme heat pushes the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.
Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the "urban heat island effect."
Below is a list of confirmed cooling stations in Kankakee County. Follow the Kankakee County Health Department social media for any changes to this list.
• Bradley Public Library – 296 N. Fulton Ave, Bradley (During business hours when the heat index reaches 95 degrees, Must wear a face mask)
• Momence Public Library- 126 N. Locust St., Momence (Business hours only, must wear a face mask)
• Pembroke Public Library- 13130 E. Central Ave, Pembroke Township (10 am-2pm, Must wear a face mask)
• Church of the Cross- 13043 E. 2260 S. Rd., Pembroke Township (2pm-6pm, Must wear a face mask)
• Kankakee County Health Dept. – 2390 W Station St., Kankakee (Business hours only)
• Leo Hassett Community Center – 211 N. Maine St. Manteno (10am-10pm)
• Northfield Square Mall – 1600 N State Rt 50, Bourbonnais (Business hours only)
• River Valley Metro – All rides are currently free every day. Due to limited space to accommodate social distancing, all patrons can ride for free to a cooling destination.
• Grant Park Community Center – 209 W. Dixie Hwy, Grant Park, IL (Business Hours only)
Preparing for Excessive Heat
• Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
• Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
• Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
• Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
• Keep storm windows up all year.
During a Heat Emergency
• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
• Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
• Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities.
• Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
• Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
• Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
• Drink plenty of water. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
• Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
• Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
• Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
• Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
First Aid for Heat-Induced Illnesses
Extreme heat brings with it the possibility of heat-induced illnesses. The following table lists these illnesses, their symptoms, and the first aid treatment.