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August 8, 2007

Governor Blagojevich's Keep Cool Illinois Campaign To Provide Cooling Centers During Illinois State Fair
Fairgoers encouraged to take precautions to ensure their visit is safe and enjoyable

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Keep Cool Illinois program, State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick today announced ten cooling centers will be open during the 2007 Illinois State Fair to help prevent heat-related illnesses.

With a heat advisory in effect for Thursday, Aug. 9, the day of the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade, and hot, humid temperatures predicted through the fair’s first weekend, Bliefnick is encouraging fairgoers, especially parade participants, to take precautions to keep cool.

“We recommend that all of the groups participating in the parade provide water for their members and that people attending the parade remember to drink plenty of fluids,” she said.

The cooling centers are located throughout the fairgrounds in the following buildings:

• Artisans Building --- Amateur and Professional Art
• Emmerson Building Annex --- Floriculture Display
• Emmerson Building South Wing --- Kids Korner
• Firehouse Museum
• Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Building
• Illinois Building --- Senior Center
• Junior Home Economics #29 Building --- Lower Level
• Junior Livestock #30 Building
• Livestock Center
• Orr Building --- Poultry & Rabbits
• Campus Town

According to public health officials, the body normally cools itself by sweating.  However, if temperatures and humidity are extremely high, like they are predicted to be through the first weekend of the fair, sweating is not effective in maintaining the body’s normal temperature.  If the body does not cool properly or does not cool enough, a person may suffer a heat-related illness.  Heat-related illnesses can become serious or even deadly if unattended.

They recommend the following helpful tips to avoid heat-related complications:
• Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level.  Do not wait until you’re thirsty to drink.  Make an extra effort to drink a minimum of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of cool fluids daily.  During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour.  Parents should be sure young children get sufficient fluids.  If you are on a special fluid-restricted diet or if you take diuretics, ask your physician about fluid intake during hot weather
• Avoid liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar – they cause you to lose more body fluid.  Also, avoid very cold drinks because they can cause stomach cramps.
• Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle.  The air temperature inside a car rises rapidly during hot weather and can lead to brain damage or death.
• Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.  If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the early morning or late evening hours when it is cooler. 
• Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days.  Try to rest often in shady or cool areas.  If you recognize that you, or someone else, are showing signs of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place.

For more tips on how to beat the heat this summer, visit www.keepcool.illinois.gov. For more information about the 2007 Illinois State Fair, visit www.illinoisstatefair.info.


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