LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The heat outside is nothing to mess with. The Univeristy of Louisville Hospital has been treating people for heat related illnesses this week.

What You Need To Know

  • Dr. Hugh Shoff said when people start to feel fatigued, and no longer sweating their health can be in jeporady

  • Staying hydrated by drinking water and electrolytes will prevent heat related illnesses, according to Shoff

  • Jefferson County Public Schools moved high school athletics later in the day and cancel all middle and elementary school sports

  • Temperatures are expected to go down by the end of the weekend

Dr. Hugh Shoff, an emergency medicine doctor with UofL Health, said it is easy to get a heat-related illness during this heat wave. He says monitoring your health while outside is important.

“If you start feeling tired, if you start feeling fatigued, like you just can’t move, if you start noticing that you’re not sweating anymore that’s a worrisome sign that you’ve gone too far,” said Shoff.

To prevent overexposure to heat, Shoff recommends staying as cool and hydrated as possible.

“Some of the things you can really do is stay hydrated, keep drinking lots of water, drink water with electrolytes, Gatorade, all those types of things, because hydration is key. It will help prevent organ damage, kidney damage, things along the lines that can happen,” Shoff said. 

If you don’t take care of yourself, he said, you can end up in the emergency room. Most of the heat-related illness victims this week were doing something outside exerting energy, he said.

“If you come in, you have heat exhaustion, you know, usually we can cool you down just by removing clothing, giving you cold I.V. fluids,” he said. 

Jefferson County Public Schools made changes this week to prevent that from happening to their students.

“High school sports, we have to push them back on Thursday and Friday. They’ll start after 7:30 p.m. so that we have an opportunity for the weather to cool down, and our younger students — middle school and elementary — we have canceled sports except for volleyball,” said April Brooks, director of athletics at JCPS.

Shoff says this decision makes sense from a medical perspective because exercising in this heat can be dangerous.

“Even in sports, right, as you exert yourself more, you generate your own heat. So, now you’re compounding that, so if you do it when it’s cooler outside, it’s much easier to control that and to keep yourself safe,” he explained.

Once you go past overexposure, it is hard to get back to normal, meaning hydrating over the next few days is important, Shoff said. 

Temperatures are expected to cool down by the end of the weekend.