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Experts share how to stay safe during Indy's heat wave

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Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 17, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS— The hottest week of 2024 so far is hitting Indianapolis in a big way.

With high temperatures expected to be in the 90’s for the next couple of days, many healthcare professionals are advocating for at risk citizens to be extra cautious.

Lieutenant Michael Farley works for Indianapolis EMS.

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“We get heat related issues almost every day in the summer,” explained Farley. “It's more surprising not to see them than it is to see them.”

According to Indianapolis EMS, there have already been 11 heat health related 911 calls over the past three days.

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Dr. Cory Showalter works at Riley Hospital for Children. He says the best ways to stay safe in the heat is by taking preventative measures.

“Preventively trying to avoid any of those symptoms by doing frequent drinks, getting out of the sun and getting into the shade,” explained Showalter. “You just have to get out of that stress of the heat.”

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Farley agreed saying he hopes all of Central Indiana takes the heat seriously.

“Don't get to that point in the first place,” shared Farley. “Try to limit your time outside. If you're getting to the point where you think something is wrong, then clearly the planning has kind of failed there.”

The Marion County Public Health Department shared the following tips for staying safe in the heat:

  1. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  2. Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  3. Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it is cooler, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
  4. Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
  5. Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
  6. Do Not Leave Children in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying.

    Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.”

MORE TIPS |City shares heat safety tips ahead of first 90-degree day of the year (wrtv.com)