As temperatures begin rising, doctors issue heat injury warnings

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For the first time this summer, people are expected to feel temperatures between 95 and 100 degrees.

“I was happy to see the partly cloudy park, but the 101 heat index kind of worried me a little bit,” said Chris Armstrong, parent.

His family decided to cool off at the pool Monday.

“It’s going to be a scorcher. We may have to do another trip (to the pool),” said Armstrong.

Pools are a popular attraction when it is hot.

“Well, July is definitely here and Indianapolis (offers) a great opportunity for folks to get out and cool off,” said Maureen Faul, PUblic Information Officer for Indy Parks.

Dr. Ed Bartkus, EMS Medical Director with IU Health Methodist Hospital, said people have not visited the ER, complaining about the heat so far. He suspects it will change after this week.

“It’s the first time (it has been this hot). So, people are not acclimated to this (heat) yet. The key is, number one, stay out of the sun as much as you can. Number two, if you are in the sun (wear) a hat, wear sunscreen. The biggest thing is stay hydrated,” said Dr. Bartkus.

Monday marked the first day this year that many said it felt like summer.

“Can’t beat the heat better than jumping in the pool,” said Armstrong.

Dr. Bartkus said people need to pay attention to symptoms like dehydration and headaches. If people go inside after feeling sick and want to go back outside, it doesn’t necessarily mean their body can handle the heat. Dr. Bartkus stressed that people need to check on each other, especially this time of year.

“The biggest thing is help your neighbor out. Please be really careful with young people, old people, and pets. They’re not able to do the things that you and I do to take ourselves out of the environment,” said Dr. Bartkus/

While some people are cooling off at pools and splash parks or finding shade, some people have to work under the sun. Department of Public Works crews in Fishers always have plenty of water near them while they are working.

“If they do start feeling ill, we want to make sure they get in the shade if necessary,” said Sonny Painter.

Painter is the Safety Coordinator in Fishers. He said their crews’ schedules could change, depending on how hot it gets.

“We can adjust shifts. We can have people come (into) work early (or) maybe go to two shifts. (We can also have them) work later in the evening,” Painter said.

Meanwhile, agencies like Meals on Wheels are busy delivering food and making sure clients are okay. Volunteers are trained to do welfare checks.

“We just check in to make sure they’re safe and they’re dealing with the weather and all the things you mentioned,” said Ann-Marie Tejcek with Eli Lilly.

Regardless of whether you are outside or inside this week, Dr. Bartkus said people need to watch out for one another.

“It’s important for neighbors to sort of check on each other,” Dr. Bartkus said.

Dr. Bartkus also said people who take allergy medication are more vulnerable to heat injuries.

More information about the signs and symptoms of heat injuries is available online: http://firstaid.webmd.com/understanding-heat-related-illness-symptoms

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