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As heat index values climb this weekend, experts say take it easy


(WSIL) -- Christina McCabe, an athletic trainer from Harrisburg Medical Center says that the heat can sneak up on you if you aren't careful.

Heat stroke isn't the only thing you need to be mindful of when working or playing this summer. She says if you already suffer from underlying conditions such as Asthma, COPD, or even severe allergies, it's even more imperative that you monitor yourself closely on those oppressively hot and humid days.

"Those are more days that I notice that my athletes struggle more and need their inhaler more, and just have a harder time breathing because the air is kind of thick and it's not as dry."

She says the best way for people with these underlying conditions to adapt is to acclimate slowly.

Harrisburg school administrators say IHSA protocol ensures they promote the wellbeing of their athletes on steamy summer days. That includes using a device that measures wet bulb globe temperature. This is a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight.

The measurement takes into consideration cloud cover, wind, sun angle, and humidity in addition to temperature. When that value is above 90, it's IHSA policy to postpone all outdoor sports.

"If you have wet bulb around 90 temperature, you are absolutely shutting practice down."

"We want to win, we want to achieve the best we can out on the field or the court or whatever it may be, but the safety of our kids and our coaches are the upmost importance," says Athletic Director, Greg Langley.

There are varying stages of IHSA guidelines for schools as the heat and humidity climbs, and it all depends on the wet bulb globe temperature.

John Ross

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