Indiana Health Officials Offer Tips For Extreme Heat

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With the forecasts calling for extreme heat in Indiana this week, Indiana state health officials offer hot weather tips to cope with the rising temperatures.

"Heat advisories should be taken very seriously," said State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D. "I encourage all Hoosiers to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves during these hot summer days."

To avoid heat related health problems, the Indiana State Department of Health recommends the following:

· Drink plenty of cool water.

· Avoid prolonged exposure to high temperature.

· Attempt to get in air conditioning, even for brief periods. If you do not have air conditioning, move to a location that is air-conditioned.

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· Fans are a source of relief when there is low humidity.

· Cool down with cool baths or showers.

· Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing.

· Slow down from your normal pace.

· Avoid alcohol.

· Draw shades, blinds and curtains in rooms exposed to direct sunlight.

When temperatures reach 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) or greater, health officials caution that overexposure to the heat can be a concern. Young children and the elderly are at greater risk for such heat-related illnesses as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Children should never be left in parked cars, even with windows cracked open.

Heat cramps are muscular pains in the abdomen, legs, and arms that occur from strenuous activity and increased sweating. Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of high temperatures and low fluid intake. Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke or hyperthermia, is a life-threatening situation in which the body is unable to regulate its temperature and cannot cool itself down.

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