Doctors share safety reminders during hot, humid weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 19, 2015) – During the hot and humid weekend, doctors are reminding everyone to be careful outside and drink plenty of water.

“It can actually sneak-up on you,” explained Doctor Roger Spahr from Doctors Express Urgent care.

“You don’t get thirsty, and then you’re dehydrated which makes you less thirsty, then your temperature goes up, you can’t think and pretty soon you’re fainting into someone’s arms, or worse, into the curb,” Dr. Spahr said.

Experts also say, because central Indiana has had a milder and wet summer so far, our bodies aren’t used to this type of heat right now. If you're experiencing heat exhaustion, doctors say you may feel fatigued or feel your skin change from clammy to dry. With a heat stroke, the body temperature rises -- sometimes to 104 degrees -- and you might feel confused or dizzy.

Outdoor tasks -- like yard work or even cleaning-up after the storms -- could also be enough to put someone in the ER.

“We’ve had pretty benign temperatures -- it’s been 70s, 80s, with very few that have gotten into the 90s -- so when you have big shifts like this, people will sort of go about their normal business not realizing what the temperature really does to the body,” said ER Physician Tim Ellender from IU Health.

Doctors say UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and many people don’t realize how much those powerful rays can shine through car windows as well. To protect your skin, doctors say you should put on sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, even when it’s cloudy.

Experts recommend using sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” – which means it provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Dr. Spahr also reminds his patients to wear hats or UV resistant sunglasses.

“Sometimes we go out in the sun and we think we can get by without our sunglasses, but sunglasses with the right protection can protect you from getting cataracts later on in life,” Dr. Spahr said.