Beware Of The Swelter

Reporter: Shannon Samson

Web Producer: Jason Bailey

The ozone alert has been extended through the weekend for southwestern Indiana.

Individuals with respiratory problems will be at risk during this time, and Evansville's riverfront may be a substantial health hazard this weekend.

The amount of people and the more humid temperatures combine to make this year's Freedom Festival a heated affair, but the heat can become dangerous without taking the necessary precautions and recognizing symptoms of fatigue.

The St. Mary's Thunder Medical Team is on-site at the riverfront to help visitors have a safe time at the festival. However, they advise the conditions can be deceptive and festival-goers should expect the temperatures to exceed expected highs.

Dr. Gerry Godfrey Co-Chair of the Thunder Medical Team says, "They don't realize sometimes that even if it's a cloudy day, you can still get burned and still get overheated."

Sunscreen, SPF-15 or higher, is recommended. Also, an umbrella and a hat are suggested.

In addition, Godfrey recommends keeping wet towels in your cooler and wearing lighter colored clothes, to deflect sun rays.

The time-tested practice of hydrating one's self with water or juice, and avoiding alcohol and carbonated beverages is also recommended. The latter will 'steal' water from your system and dehydrate the body.

Meals should be small and increased in the frequency that you eat. Foods high in protein should be avoided, as they will increase your metabolism and result in higher internal body temperatures.

Younger children and infants are more susceptible because their skin's surface area is larger in relation to their size.

If anyone starts to feel dizzy or lethargic, don't hesitate to take them either of the two Thunder Medical tents.

"There are crews that are established at each tent to evaluate people quickly and occasionally, we've had to move someone on to the hospital, but usually after resting for a shade for a time and getting some water, they do quite well and generally resume their activities," says Godfrey.

The medical teams will also be on golf carts to bring water and cold towels to you