Beating the hot weather starts with a plan

It's not just the heat you have to watch out for but also hot surfaces
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After a long, cold winter, warmer weather is usually welcomed here in northeast Wisconsin but this heat and humidity is a bit much.

The heat index hit triple digits near the Fox Valley and to the south.

Beating the heat when you’re outside all starts with a plan. Many people we talked with Tuesday at Fisk Park in Green Bay had a plan in place just in case it got too hot and they needed to cool off.

“Our friends invited us to the beautiful park,” Greg Gonzalez said.

As Gonzalez and Angie Fischer made their way to Fisk Park from Pulaski, they came prepared for the heat.

“Nice weather clothes,” they pointed out. “Wearing my beach outfit, you know, but brought water and food, enough to stay hydrated.”

Hydration is key when it’s this hot and humid out.

Mom Kimberly Hegyi says it’s number-one on the list when organizing a Mommy and Me event.

“We have coolers and meals and drinks to stay hydrated,” she said, also mentioning the amount of adult supervision, “A bunch of us so have lots of eyes on our kids.”

The kids had their eyes -- and hands -- on a puppy, Daisy. “We have food and water for her, using pavilion, keeping her in the shade,” Hegyi said of taking care of the puppy in the heat.

U.W. Health emergency physician Dr. Jeff Pothof says having a plan in place is important.

“Today is a day where you’re going to sweat and you’re going to lose liquids. You need to replace those liquids. That’s the most important thing to prevent yourself from going down the cascade of heat illness which you know, it gets bad [it] can be actually life-threatening,” Dr. Pothof said.

Especially for those at the most risk, like children and the elderly. Some prescription drugs also decrease your ability to cool off.

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Some people are more susceptible to heat illness than others, like children, the elderly, and people on certain prescription medicines

Pothof says muscle cramping is an early sign of heat exhaustion, along with headaches and nauseau. More serious symptoms include confusion or a change in mental status.

“Either you’ll start acting confused or you may start acting more sleepy or some people will actually pass out,” the doctor said. “At that stage typically your skin gets much more red, and you may even stop sweating. Core temperatures, if someone takes your temperature, is often over 103 degrees. This is a life-threatening emergency,” the doctor said.

To help people stay cool, the Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay is opening its cooling center on Union Court from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday.

Pothof says parents should also keep in mind that playground equipment can get really hot, especially in direct sun. We tested a slide with a laser thermometer and it was 120 degrees.

“There’s activities that we want to do sometimes water pouring, so we’re just running around barefoot on most days, not such a big deal on days like today. Barefoot on blacktop could get hot enough where you could actually burn your feet,” Dr. Pothof said.

Staying safe in this heat starts with a plan

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