Emergency medical professionals with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are encouraging Hoosiers to take heat-safety precautions. They include drinking plenty of water and avoiding carbonated or alcoholic beverages, resting and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, and limiting exposure to the sun. They also recommend checking on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
State Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. Michael Olinger says excessive exposure to temperatures above 90 degrees increases the risk of heat-induced illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion occurs when a person can’t replenish the amount of hydration lost during extended periods of sweating. Heat stroke occurs when a person’s internal temperature regulation system fails.
Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and fatigue; cool, clammy or flushed skin; profuse sweating; elevated body temperature and muscle cramps.
If heat illness is suspected, Olinger says you should act quickly. Don’t hesitate to call 911, use ice packs or cold washcloths to help bring down body temperatures, provide non-carbonated sports drinks when available, and move people to cooler areas so they can rest.
Heat is also dangerous to pets. Bring them inside during hot weather, make sure they have plenty of water and don’t leave them in vehicles, even for a minute.
Visit www.GetPrepared.in.gov for more safety tips.