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Staying Cool in Chicago During a Heat Wave and Recognizing Heat Sickness Symptoms

To stay safe and prevent heat-related illnesses during the heat wave, it’s best to stay indoors with fans or air conditioning to keep your home cool. Limit outdoor activities, avoid direct sunlight, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids. Don’t forget to check on elderly relatives and neighbors.

If staying indoors isn’t an option or your home isn’t adequately cooled, there are resources available across Chicago to assist:

Chicago Cooling Centers: The City of Chicago operates cooling centers at its six community service centers. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Englewood Center: 1140 West 79th Street
  • Garfield Center: 10 South Kedzie Avenue (open 24 hours)
  • King Center: 4314 South Cottage Grove Avenue
  • North Area Center: 845 West Wilson Avenue
  • South Chicago Center: 8650 South Commercial Avenue
  • Trina Davila Center: 4312 West North Avenue

Visitors to cooling centers must wear face coverings indoors, and the city provides them for those without.

Chicago Public Libraries and Chicago Park District Fieldhouses: These facilities also offer cooling options during their operating hours.

Salvation Army: For additional assistance, find your local Salvation Army Community Center by entering your zip code at SalArmyChicago.org.

Suburban Cooling Centers: Various suburban cooling centers are available in counties including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake (Illinois), McHenry, Will, and Kankakee. Visit respective county websites for details.

Well-being Checks: Ensure the safety of older adults, young children, and those with special needs during extreme heat by checking in on them. Request a well-being check from the city via 311 or 311.chicago.gov if needed.

Chicago Water Playgrounds, Splash Pads, and Public Pools: Enjoy these facilities throughout the city, which are free to use. Many Chicago Park District parks feature water spray features and splash pads, opening on June 17. Visit their website to find the nearest water play area.

Public Pools: Pools in Washington Park, Humboldt Park, and Portage Park remain open through Labor Day, along with Chicago’s 22 beaches.

Heat Sickness Symptoms: How to Recognize Heat Stroke, Exhaustion, and More: Be vigilant as high temperatures can lead to severe heat-related illnesses.

  • Heat Rash: Skin irritation from excessive sweating; keep the affected area dry and use powder for comfort.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Results from dehydration and excessive sweating; symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and heavy sweating. Move to a cool place, remove unnecessary clothing, apply cold water or compresses to cool down, and drink cool fluids.
  • Heat Stroke: Most severe heat-related illness; symptoms include confusion, altered mental state, loss of consciousness, hot and dry skin, seizures, and very high body temperature. Call 911 immediately, move to a shaded area, cool the person with cold water or ice baths, and use fans for air circulation.

Stay informed and take necessary precautions to stay safe during periods of extreme heat in Chicago.

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