News & Events

This weekend is going to be the hottest we’ve had all year. So hot, in fact, that it has the potential to be life-threatening.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for Saturday starting at noon. Local doctors say the heat we’re going to feel this weekend is dangerous, and people need to take the proper steps to protect themselves.

Tina Peters knows how dangerous the heat can be, so she took her two daughters to a splash pad in South Bend to cool off.

“We don’t have air conditioning in the house, so we have to keep cool somehow,” she said.

Dr. Robert Oppman at the South Bend Clinic says in extreme heat, people have to limit the amount of time spent outside – especially in the middle of the day when it’s usually the hottest.

"If there's any work that has to be done, try to get that done in the early morning hours or in the evening hours when it does begin to cool down,” said Dr. Oppman.

The actual amount of time people should be outside in the heat depends on age and physical condition.

"An elderly person or a very young child probably shouldn't be out for more than 20 to 30 minutes in the heat of the day,” said Dr. Oppman.

The doctor says a person who is very fit could stay out a little longer if they stay hydrated. He recommends drinking more like 10 to 12 glasses of water if you’re going to be in the heat or sweating a lot.

Muscle cramps, fatigue and lightheadedness are all signs of heat exhaustion, but the doctor says heat stroke is a surgical emergency.

“These patients are going to look confused and obtunded which just means not as responsive as normal. That can very quickly progress to very high body temperatures above 106 degrees,” said Dr. Oppman.

Also, don’t forget about pets. Veterinarians say if animals have to be outside in the heat, make sure they have plenty of water. Check on them periodically because they might need water more often than you think.

Pets also need to have shade to get out of the hot sun, and off the hot cement or ground.    >View Video

Posted on July 20, 2015