Heat wave has health officials pushing heat safety reminders

13 News at Six
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A heat wave has once again swept across Northeast Kansas.

In this heat, spray parks are a popular place to visit, but health officials said limiting your time outdoors is key.

Sonda Washington brought her grandchildren to Topeka’s Dornwood Spray Park Tuesday to get some relief from the heat.

“It is a really hot day, so I thought maybe we could come here to have fun,” she said.

When the kids are not in the water, she has them sit in the shade and stay hydrated.

“The shade is everything right now,” Washington continued saying, “With the wind blowing everything is great, but do not sit in the sun, please do not sit in the sun. Get as much shade as you can.”

Craig Barnes with the Shawnee County Health Department said drinking plenty of fluids is one of the most important steps in avoiding heat-related illness.

“You should be drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day,” he said. “It is not something where you wait until you are thirsty to drink water, you should be drinking water throughout the day.”

Barnes said what you wear can also make a difference.

“If you are going to be outside wear light-colored and loose fitting clothing and definitely be wearing sunscreen,” he added.

While the heat does not discriminate, Barnes said certain populations can be more vulnerable.

“Those most susceptible to heat-related illness are people who are 65 years of age or older, those under the age of two, and those who are suffering from chronic disease or mental illness,” he said.

Bottom line: Barnes encourages people not to let their guard down.

“Here in Kansas we do not know what the weather is going to be day in and day out. We did have some nice weather last week, but we are in August and we know here in Kansas in August the weather can be very hot,” he continued saying, “Just pay attention to your local news outlets and the National Weather Service in Topeka, they are putting out a lot of tips for people to stay safe.”

Barnes said the biggest warning sign of a heat-related illness is dizziness. If you start to feel dizzy, he said you should seek shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.

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