(MADISON) –Did you know that 70 percent of people who die from heat are seniors? Officials say most didn't have air conditioning and many of the deaths could have been prevented, if someone had checked on their welfare. That’s why we want to remind everyone how important it is to check on your neighbors and loved ones as we brace for some very hot and humid weather.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), there were 48 heat-related deaths in the state between 2011-2015, and most of those deaths involved people between the ages of 65 and 84.
Those most vulnerable to heat include very young children, the elderly, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure. Individuals who are on certain medications may also be more susceptible to illnesses during extreme heat events. In addition, many victims of heat-related deaths are socially isolated, maintaining little contact with family and friends.
As the first significant surge of hot, humid conditions impact Wisconsin, remember these tips:
- Stay Cool: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight. If you don’t have an air conditioner, consider going to a friend’s house, shopping center, library or other public facility during the high temperatures in the afternoon.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Never leave children, disabled people or pets in a parked car – even briefly! Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes even with the windows open.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.