With temperatures on the rise this month, Indianapolis EMS (IEMS) wants Hoosiers to stay cool this summer and avoid heat related illnesses which occur when the body is unable to adequately cool itself. Typically the body will cool itself through sweating, but during extreme heat this may not be enough. Heat related illnesses cause the body’s temperature to rise faster with the inability to cool itself down in a normal amount of time. Heat related illnesses can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. IEMS encourages outdoor goers to follow the below tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to avoid heat related illnesses.
- Wear appropriate clothing – lightweight, light-colored loose fitting clothing items are best.
- Stay cool inside – hanging out indoors with air conditioning is ideal.
- Schedule outdoor activities appropriately – exercising or playing outside in the morning is best to avoid extreme heat.
- Wear sunscreen – sunburns contribute to dehydration. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent sunburns from occurring.
- NEVER leave children or animals in vehicles – cars quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures in the summer, causing occupants to suffer from heat stroke or death.
- Drink plenty of fluids – drinking water while outside is best. It is recommended each person drink at least one gallon of water each day. Stay away from alcoholic and sugary drinks when outside as these may increase dehydration.
- Replace salt and minerals – sports drinks can help replace needed salt and minerals you lose while sweating.
Be Summer Smart
- Stay informed – check local news for updates on the heat index and outside temperatures.
- Know the signs – learn the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.
- Use the buddy system – if working outside or participating in outside activities, check in on those around you often, including elderly neighbors or anyone who might not have air conditioning at their home.
IEMS wants all Hoosiers to enjoy the summer safely. Learn more about heat related illnesses and how to prevent them at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html. Please remember to call 9-1-1 during emergency situations.