Stay cool: Record-setting heatby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST PAUL, Minn. — Health officials are warning Minnesotans to take steps to stay healthy as temperatures hover in the mid-90s this week.
Minnesota Department of Health Climate and Health Program Director Kristin Raab said this level of heat can bring on heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke and death. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea and fainting.
Raab said people who experience these symptoms should immediately try to get cool. If the situation does not improve, they should seek medical attention.
"Young children are really susceptible, older people are really susceptible and then people who are exposed to the heat or sun for long periods of time," Raab said. "We typically think we're kind of invincible, nothing's going to happen to us, but in reality, if you're out there in the sun, you're exposed to these conditions and you could become sick."
To avoid a medical situation, people should drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic or sugary drinks.
"It's important to stay cool, to stay indoors with air conditioning," Raab said. "If they don't have air conditioning we suggest that people go to someplace that does have air conditioning like a mall or a library or other public space," Raab said.
Raab said that fans are no longer effective when it gets so hot. She also recommended that people cool down with a cold shower or bath.
At least 35 people in Minnesota have died directly of heat-related causes between 2000 and 2010, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said.
The Minnesota Department of Health maintains a guide to help people deal with extreme heat on their website.