Rising temps increase risk of heat-related illness

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Now that the wet weather has finally dried up, people are spending more time outside. But as temperatures start nearing the 90-degree mark, there are a few things people need to keep in mind to make sure they’re enjoying the outdoors safely.

When it comes to heat stroke and heat exhaustion no one is immune to their symptoms, so it is especially important as these hot weather days get closer that everyone is aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

People are often found riding bikes and running on the canal when the weather gets warmer. For people like the Picks they make sure to pay attention on days like today when it is especially hot.

“Just kind of maintain our pace as we are running and make sure we hydrate when we are done,” Janet Pick, who often exercises outdoors said.

Heat exhaustion is not deadly on its own but if it isn’t recognized and treated it could lead to a heat stroke which has much more serious consequences.

“Heat exhaustion is much more common than people think especially in the warm summer months. Heat stroke is thankfully a little more rare because it can be more severe and can be more serious,” Dr. Will Martin with IU Health Methodist Hospital said.

Symptoms like fatigue, dizziness and a weak but rapid heart rate could mean you are suffering from exhaustion.

“Putting ice packs under your armpits or on your body is going to be important. If you are in athletics most athletic facilities will have an ice bath to submerge yourself in,” Dr. Martin said.

Whether you are working outdoors or playing sports, this is the time of year where places like IU Health Methodist Hospital start to see an increase in heat-related illnesses.

“We are really entering that hot period right now, the end of June, beginning of July, the middle part of July. One thing we have to notice too is the humidity. The temperatures are one factor but you factor in the humidity and you have this heat index or feels-like temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s,” WISH-TV Meteorologist Tara Hastings said.

It’s important to take the proper steps if you think you may be suffering from a heat-related illness.

“If you are out in a hot environment or if your house is without air conditioning taking a moment to kind of sit down, drink some water, rest,” Dr. Martin explained.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion and a heat stroke are very different. If not treated, a heat stroke could lead to death.

“Typically you are going to have some type of neurological dysfunction, things like having seizures, not acting like yourself, maybe saying funny things you may not know where you are at,” Dr. Martin said.

If you or someone that you are with thinks you might be suffering from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke, it is important to stop what you are doing and call 911 immediately.

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