(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is sharing tips as they urge residents to protect themselves from the health risks that come with hot temperatures.

MDHHS officials say emergency department visits for heat-related illness increase as temperatures rise above 80 degrees and happen more often at the beginning of the summer season, as people aren’t adjusted to the warmer temperatures yet.

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“Michigan residents can take steps to protect themselves from heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Young children, older adults, and those who have medical conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illness, so be sure to check frequently on them and others in your community who may need additional assistance. Limit time in heat, stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight and find somewhere with air conditioning or take cool showers. Text or call 211 or contact your local health department to locate a cooling center in your area.”

To prevent complications from the heat, residents are encouraged to:

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.
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MDHHS officials also remind residents to never leave children or pets inside cars with window cracked, as the temperature inside cars can be double the temperature outside. Children are more susceptible to heat stroke because there body’s warm up 3 to 5 times faster.

Signs of heat-related illness vary but typically include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, fainting, extremely high body temperature (above 103°F), and tiredness.

For additional information about the necessary steps to avoid heat-related illness, visit here.

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