Hot Weather Safety
Extreme heat events can result in serious illness and death. The City of Milwaukee Health Department monitors warm weather conditions and issues health alerts when necessary to partners in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Extreme Weather Task Force and to the public.
It is important to stay cool, hydrated, and informed. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, contact a medical provider. If a health issue is an emergency, dial 911.
Individuals in need of public space to cool off can visit our list of locations in the Greater Milwaukee Area.
- Slow down and limit physical activity.
- Try to spend part of your day in air-conditioned spaces. If your home does not have air conditioning, consider public places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, or libraries.
- Do not rely on fans as a primary cooling device.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
- Use cool wet towels on the back of your neck to help your body cool down.
- Check your local news and weather reports for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
- Be aware of symptoms of heat-related illness in adults, and be aware of special tips for infants.
- Check on relatives, friends, and neighbors, especially those who may be most at-risk for illness.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, whether you are thirsty or not.
- Avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks
Who is Most At-Risk for Heat-Related Illness?
People at greatest risk for health-related illness include infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, those with chronic illness (especially heart or lung conditions, and individuals who use certain medications). People who work outdoors or in hot settings should also be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness and take precautions.
Infants, especially less than 6 months, are at risk for overheating because they have difficulty regulating their body temperature.
Keep infants inside where it is cool and out of direct sunlight.
Dress infants in minimal, breathable clothing such as a diaper and onesie only.
Avoid using blankets to cover infants or their car seats, carriers, etc.
Not give water to infants under 6 months of age, but should continue to breastfeed or give formula as usual.
Look for warning signs of dehydration: Less and/or darker urine, dry or sticky mouth, no tears when crying, less active or playful, eating less or not at all.
Call your child’s doctor if your baby has: Fewer than 6 wet diapers per day, gone more than 6 hours without a wet diaper, a sunken soft spot on top of their head, or sunken eyes.
What are Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness?
Normally, the body will cool itself by sweating. People can suffer heat-related illness when the body's temperature control system becomes overloaded. In these cases, a person's body temperature can rise very rapidly. High body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.
Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, or experiences other types of illness during hot weather, contact a medical provider.