July 22, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. – With heat and humidity reaching dangerous levels Saturday, Ball State University officials are asking visitors to campus for Summer Commencement to take appropriate precautions.

There is a heat advisory from 10 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday. High temperatures are expected in the lower to middle 90s, with the heat index ranging from 105 to 109 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Ball State’s commencement is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in air-conditioned Worthen Arena. Ample parking adjacent to the arena should minimize visitors’ exposure to the heat.

Andrew Del Pozzi, an assistant professor of exercise science in Ball State’s School of Kinesiology in the College of Health, recommends those attending commencement should limit time in the heat and direct sunlight.

“This combination of heat and humidity affects the health of most people, but most particularly older adults and young children,” Del Pozzi said. “Children sweat less and maintain higher core temperatures.”

When children’s body chemistry gets unbalanced due to high temperatures, he recommends giving them sports drinks with electrolytes.

“The elderly also lose their ability to sweat as effectively. You should check on your children and elderly relatives and neighbors often to make sure they are staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest from heat exposure.”

To stay safe, the American Red Cross recommends:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day (usually midafternoon).

Del Pozzi also advises that nonservice animals should be left at home.

“It’s not only dangerous, it’s deadly. Most animals do not sweat, so they tend to overheat faster than their human counterparts. It would be best to leave them at home in an air-conditioned house. “