Health Experts, Event Organizers Offer Tips for Beating the Heat

From a press release via Spokane Regional Health District:

With extreme heat on its way, and large crowds of athletes and spectators expected in Spokane and northern Idaho this weekend for Hoopfest and Ironman Coeur d’Alene, health experts are warning the community that hot weather can be more than just uncomfortable—it can pose a threat to people’s lives.

Hoopfest staff ordered cool-air misters and fans for this weekend and organizers plan to have extra water for court monitors, who usually spend six to seven hours on the asphalt courts. Volunteer medical teams staffing Hoopfest will be prepared to treat heat stroke, heat exhaustion and sun burns. Ironman organizers will be providing specific tips to its athletes for avoiding heat-related illness at the pre-event athlete meeting and to its athletes and volunteers via email. Athletes who are exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion may also be asked to pause for health evaluation at check-points during the race.

To avoid heat-related illness on hot days:

  • Drink plenty of water or fruit and vegetable juices. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
  • Limit your time outdoors, especially in the afternoon when the day is hottest.
  • Stay out of the sun, take frequent breaks and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Wear a high SPF sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) and remember to reapply it, especially if you are perspiring or coming in contact with water.
  • Dress for the weather. Loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothes are cooler than dark colors or some synthetics.
  • If you live in a home without fans or air conditioning, open windows to allow air flow, and keep shades, blinds or curtains drawn in the hottest part of the day or when the windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Try to spend at least part of the day in an air conditioned place like a shopping mall, a store, the library, a friend’s house, or the movies. Cool showers or a cool bath can help, too.
  • Do not use a fan when the air temperature is above 95 degrees, it will blow hot air, which can add to heat stress.
  • Never leave a child or a disabled or elderly person or a pet in an unattended car, even with the windows down. A closed vehicle can heat up to dangerous levels in as little as ten minutes. Lock parked cars to prevent children from playing in them.

For more information about voiding heat-related illness, see the U.S. Centers for Disease control webpage.


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