With heat indexes expected to rise well into the triple digits over the next couple of days, the Central Racine County and City of Racine Health Departments want people to know there are cooling centers throughout the greater Racine area.

The National Weather Service has placed Racine County under an excessive heat watch that begins at noon Thursday and expires at 7 p.m. Friday.

All residents are urged to use extreme caution from Thursday through Sunday as temperatures climb into the 90s and hot, humid air makes it feel 10 to 15 degrees hotter; drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, do not participate in strenuous activity outside if possible, wear light-colored clothing, and never under any circumstances leave children, older people or pets inside a car unattended.

Health department officials also urge neighbors to check on one another and to keep kids and pets out of the sun as much as possible as well.

Heat stroke is a very serious concern that can turn life-threatening in an instant. The symptoms to watch for include dizziness, confusion, hot dry skin, nausea and passing out. It is imperative that anyone appearing to suffer from heat stroke get immediate medical attention.

Click here for a full list of cooling centers, but be sure you call ahead to be sure the building is open.

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