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The Scoop

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When meteorologists use terms like “extreme heat” or “excessive heat,” they mean more than just discomfort from hot weather.

Water, rest, shade help beat the heat

Statement as issued Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:

After a harsh winter in Indiana, many Hoosiers are embracing the warmth this summer. Emergency medical services professionals remind citizens to be cautious when it comes to the brutal heat sometimes experienced in Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security certifies all EMS professionals in the state, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, and emergency medical providers.

When meteorologists use terms like “extreme heat” or “excessive heat,” they mean more than just discomfort from hot weather. These terms indicate a level of high temperature and high humidity, a potentially dangerous combination.

Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. There are three things Hoosiers need to help protect them from extreme heat: water, rest, and shade.

  • Water: Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid carbonated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Rest: Take frequent breaks during outdoor activities, and try to avoid activities during the hottest part of the day.
  • Shade: Stay indoors to try and limit exposure to the sun. Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
Remember that some people are at greater risk than others, especially the elderly, very young children, and those with respiratory conditions.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
Someone suffering from heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place to rest and drink water or a sports drink (nothing carbonated). Cool, wet washcloths or ice packs will help with recovery. If there is no improvement, body temperature won’t go down, or the person won’t take fluids, go to the emergency room immediately or call 911.

Hoosiers attending outdoor events this summer should know where first aid services are available in case someone needs help.

For more extreme heat safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

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