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High school dismisses early due to heat

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FRANKFORT – Wednesday quickly became the hottest day of the year and forced one Central Indiana high school to send its students home early.

The temperatures were too hot for the Frankfort Hot Dogs. About 800 students were dismissed from school around 1 p.m. because the building does not have air conditioning and became too warm.

“Four of the five are air conditioned schools, but Frankfort High School is not,” explained Assistant Superintendent Joel McKinney.

“We’ve got a few particular classrooms where we know it really heats up in the afternoon so we monitor those closely and have been doing that all week and today we just felt like it was a good day to get ’em out of here a little bit early,” he said.

Wednesday’s temperatures and humidity created the perfect environment for heat exhaustion. ER physician Dr. Anar Desai at IU Health Methodist Hospital said doctors typically see a rise in elderly patients come into the hospital for heat-related illnesses during this time of year. However, she warned, people who work outdoors can easily fall victim, too.

“Construction workers, especially with a lot of extra layers on, those are the people that we see kinda getting in trouble,” said Desai.

It’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just released a heat safety tool in the form of an app you can download on your smartphone.

A user only needs to punch in the current temperature and humidity and the app calculates the risk level for heat exhaustion and details what you should be doing to stay safe. It can even alert you to take a break in case you forget.

“That might be a nice thing, since everyone is so glued to their phone,” said Desai of the app. “Just making sure that you’re staying on top of it, cause it’s easy to lose track of stuff when you’re out working.”

Desai recommended drinking plenty of non-caffeinated fluids and taking frequent breaks in a shaded cool area during this heat wave.