Temperatures are continuing to rise with triple digit heat and Heat Advisories expected this week. Officials encourage people to take precautions against the heat.
Here are some things you can do to avoid the risks associated with high temperatures:
- Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Drink lots of cool water even before you feel thirsty but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 4pm) and limit intense or moderately intense physical activity to early morning or later evening for shorter periods of time with frequent breaks.
- Dress for the weather. Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing made from a breathable fabric and avoid exposure by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or using an umbrella to shade yourself.
- Use fans in or next to open windows or doors. Do not use a fan in a closed room without windows or doors open to the outside. Fans do not cool air but cool you down by moving air around you and evaporating your sweat. Fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Also, using a fan to blow hot air on yourself can cause heat exhaustion to happen faster.
- Be on guard for symptoms of heat-related illnesses which include heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash and heat cramps. Symptoms may range from dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat or extreme thirst. If those symptoms develop, find a cool environment and try to drink two or three glasses of cool water. Someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating may be suffering from heatstroke and 911 should be called immediately. While waiting for help, the person needs to be cooled down right away.
- Find someplace cool to go. Indy Parks Pools and Spray Grounds offer relief from the heat. The Salvation Army will be opening cooling shelters at their Eagle Creek and Fountain Square Community Centers. Wayne County has also opened numerous cooling shelters for relief from the heat wave.
- If your home does not have air conditioning you can go to a shopping center, library, community center (click here to search for one close to you) or government buildings. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Health professionals also say that using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher is a great way to stay safe during the summer.
Children, the elderly and people with chronic ailments are at greater risk of being effected by heat. Heat exhaustion, cramps or heat stroke can result from prolonged exposure to these conditions. Friends, relatives or neighbors should check on people who may be at risk and do not have air conditioning. And never leave pets or children in a car, even with the windows open. Last year, over 200 fatalities were reported in the United States due to heat-related injuries and illnesses. Take some time to plan and prepare for the heat and you can reduce the risk of becoming another statistic.