ER doctors warn of spending too much time in heat

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Emergency Room doctors are warning families this weekend to limit exposure outside and to be on the lookout for heat related illness symptoms.

Doctors in IU Health Methodist Hospital's Emergency Room, say this is peak season for heat related illnesses. The season usually starts Indy 500 weekend and goes through the summer.

Sunday is Father's Day, and many dads are planning to be outdoors on the golf course or doing other activities with family. Doctors said too much physical activity in the heat could result in dangerous heat related medical complications.

“Especially with the humidity, when you start sweating a lot, you’re obviously going to be at more risk," said Dr. Amber Fouts with IU Health.

Doctors said older and younger patients have the most risk. Parents are encouraged to keep children hydrated. If your child is going to a summer camp, or sports practice, doctors said they should have at least two bottles of water and take breaks when needed. Outdoor time in the sun and heat should be limited to only a few hours at a time.

“These people are definitely more likely to have increasing symptoms in just a short period of time, that can just be a couple hours out in the sun," Dr. Fouts said.

Symptoms of heat related illnesses can be different for everyone. Dr. Fouts said doctors in the ER use a spectrum to determine the seriousness of the illness. Symptoms generally start with a headache and minor aches and pains but can increase and get worse very quickly.

“You’re gonna have muscle aches, increase in confusion, soreness everywhere, you can start having trouble peeing," Dr. Fouts said.

If you start to feel any of these symptoms, doctors said to first get in the shade or go inside somewhere with air conditioning and drink plenty of water. If you don't feel better in an hour, you should head to the emergency room. Doctors said you should get help immediately if you become delirious and don't recognize friends or family members.

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