INDIANAPOLIS – The 90s continue into this weekend with heat index values climbing close to 100°. It’s important during extreme heat to know how to stay safe and know the signs of heat-related illnesses.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat-related illnesses occur when the body cannot properly cool itself. The body normally cools itself by sweating. During extreme heat, the body’s temperature might rise faster than it can cool, which can cause damage to vital organs.
Some common signs can be:
- Muscle pain
Different heat-related illnesses can show different signs. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash each have different symptoms and what to do when those symptoms show.
In any event, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
How can you keep your pets safe during extreme heat?
Much like people, our pets can suffer from extreme heat too.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, here are some common signs of heatstroke in animals:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of coordination
- Profuse salivation
The CDC and the Humane Society of the United States remind everyone to stay hydrated, stay inside during extreme heat if they can, and never leave their pets or anyone inside a hot car.
Dangers of hot cars
Within minutes, cars can reach dangerous temperatures on warm days. According to the National Weather Service, on a day when the air temperature is 80°, the temperature inside a car can reach 100° in just 10 minutes! This can cause organ damage to both people and pets.
Why do we sweat?
One way our body tries to cool itself off is by sweating. The water from the sweat evaporates off of our skin. This draws the heat out of the body through a process known as evaporative cooling. On a humid day, it is harder for sweat to evaporate, therefore keeping you feeling warmer and your skin feeling sticky.