WISCONSIN, (WFRV) – The forecast is starting to show high numbers most Wisconsinites wished for in winter, but the heat does bring some risks.

It might not be iced roads causing crashes during the frozen season, but heat can be deadly. Preliminary data from DHS reports nine people died in Wisconsin from May 1 to Sept. 30, 2021, because of heat-related causes. At that time, another 803 people were treated in emergency departments. 

“As summer warms up, there are ways to beat the heat and not end up in an emergency room,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Acting Administrator Greg Engle. “Extreme heat can be extremely dangerous, and it’s important to take an active role in staying safe.” 

Tips and tricks

If you are driving a car, walking, or just sitting in your apartment during an extreme heat wave you should:

  • Stay in air-conditioning as long as possible.
  • Don’t put a fan directly on your skin if ambient temperature exceeds approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees with humidity over 35%. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) said fans can actually increase heat stress at these temperatures.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Watch out for heat-related side effects – dizziness, headache, fatigue, and muscle cramps. If these symptoms do not improve, Wisconsin Emergency Management said you should get medical help.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Make sure to drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless a doctor has said otherwise.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.

Helpful ways to cool down: DHS recommends taking a cool bath. If you cannot do that, it said to use cool cloths or compresses on the hands, feet, groin, or underarm area to cool down. Putting your hands or wrists in cool water also helps to stop body temperature from accelerating.

And don’t forget about those summer activities, like ice cream shops and swimming in pools. Brown County has a few great places to help beat the heat.