With this week’s weather forecasts indicating a string of hot weather, Eskenazi Health emergency physicians urge residents to stay cool and safe during this dangerous and challenging time. “Doing all you can to keep your body’s core temperature at a normal level is always advisable in these dangerous conditions,” said Dr. Tyler Stepsis, medical director of the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department at Eskenazi Health. He said that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), makes the following recommendations for avoiding heat stroke and heat exhaustion:
- Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
- Never leave children or pets in a parked car. Bring pets indoors and make sure they have plenty of water.
- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wear light-colored clothing.
- Pace yourself while working or exercising in hot weather.
- If it’s too hot in your home, take a cool bath or shower.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, go to the mall or library, or find a cooling shelter.
- Keep an eye on people more likely to become ill from the heat: babies, young children, and older adults.
- Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
CDC-listed symptoms leading to heat exhaustion include a lack of strength and energy, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, heavy sweating, pale and/or clammy skin, a weak pulse, muscle cramps, and fainting. Heat stroke symptoms include an altered state and any of the following symptoms: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, body temperature above 103° F, hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting and losing consciousness.