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Choose pool to cool off, state officials say

Statement issued Thursday:

INDIANAPOLIS –With temperatures expected to be in the nineties within a few days, emergency medical service professionals advise swimming in pools or other areas that have lifeguards instead of retention ponds, rivers or creeks.

“Children may look to escape the heat by finding a cool body of water to take a swim,” said Joe Wainscott, executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “It is important, however, for children and adults to stay away from unsupervised areas such as rivers, creeks, or retention ponds. These bodies of water can be dangerous. Garbage and debris can accumulate and injure a swimmer or snag clothing, making it harder to swim safely. Talk with your children today.”

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), certifies EMS professionals across the State of Indiana.

Swimming in a well-supervised pool, such as a public pool with a lifeguard on-duty, is a good way to be safe while swimming. Young children should always be monitored by an adult while in water, even in very shallow depths.

According to the National Weather Service, heat caused more fatalities than any other natural hazard in 2010, including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning.

Here are some additional tips to reduce your risk for heat related illnesses:

Keep yourself hydrated and nourished. Drink fluids regularly, regardless of your activity level. Avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they will dehydrate you faster. Eat smaller meals and more frequently. Although heat may lessen your appetite, your body needs proper nutrition to function.

Take time to cool off. If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned building. If your home does not have air conditioning, spend time at a movie theatre, shopping mall, public library, or other air-conditioned public facility. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Check locally to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

Never leave animals, children or elderly individuals inside a vehicle. Even if you are just leaving the vehicle for a minute and have all the windows rolled down, it is extremely dangerous to leave anyone, or an animal, inside a vehicle during warm weather.

For more information about staying safe during high temperatures, visit GetPrepared.in.gov and click on “Summer Safety.”

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