Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The City of Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Indianapolis Fire Department and the Department of Waterworks to deliver heat relief at Bethel Park and Wes Montgomery Park on any weekday the temperature reaches 90 degrees or higher. On those days, firefighters will create a temporary spray park using hoses and sprinklers from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bethel Park, 2850 Bethel Ave., and Wes Montgomery Park, 3400 N. Hawthorne Lane.

Operation Cooldown allows children under adult supervision to enjoy relief from the heat and provides these neighborhoods an alternative source of water recreation while the pools at these two parks are closed for repairs. The program will not operate during water use advisories, warnings or emergencies.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for preventing heat-related illness:

* Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
* Do not drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Avoid very cold drinks, as they can cause stomach cramps.
* Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
* Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
* Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
* NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
* Although anyone at anytime can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
* Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.
* If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours; cut down on exercise; try to rest often in shady areas; and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.

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