Heat hits Chicago, officials warn residents

August 13, 2010 4:25:19 AM PDT
An excessive heat warning is in effect for Cook County through Friday at 7 p.m.

Temperatures reached the 90s on Thursday. With the heat and the humidity, this weather can be dangerous. Chicagoans are being warned to take precautions to protect themselves from the heat.

Children cannot regulate their body temperatures as well as adults. So emergency physicians brought out the gauges to warn high temperatures can kill - quickly.

"Heat illness is something that works relatively quickly so that if you generally get to the point where you are going to be okay or you are going to die. There is not a whole lot of lot of margin of error," said Dr. Elizabeth Powell, Children's Memorial Hospital.

Officials warn residents not to leave children in hot, parked cars.

Chicago Public Schools is preparing for the heat to be endured in its year-round or 'Track E' schools with plenty of fans and bottled water - but for the most part, no air conditioning. Some parents are upset.

"I put him in an all year-round school to strengthen his learning curve. It's not helping if he's lethargic and can't learn," said Crystal Lott, parent.

Lott's son goes to Jensen Academy whose principal would not speak to ABC7. We were directed by CPS instead to Nicholson Prep, where a Track E principal with an air conditioned office cited realities of education budgeting

"We try to do as best as we can with an ice machine and water coolers with ice and water in all the classrooms. And we purchased the water as well. We keep the kids and staff hydrated. And we're managing," said Rodney Hull, principal, Nicholson Math & Science Prep.

As city emergency operations officials reminded residents to take precautions with the sun, Muslims are now observing Ramadan, the month out of every year the faithful fast from dawn to dusk - even in these conditions.

"More of a challenge in this heat, but it does bring you closer to those who are unfortunately fasting out of necessity even in our city," said Dr. Naveed Mallick, Hyde Park Center for Sleep Disorders.

City officials remind residents that public swimming pools are open as well as cooling centers and libraries around the city. To find a cooling center, call 311. They also say residents can go to any police station 24 hours a day.

ComEd announced Thursday afternoon they are suspending any service interruptions until August 16 due to the heat.


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