Beating the heat as NASCAR returns

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - As Nascar returns to Middle Tennessee this week, many are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend.

The race track isn’t the only thing bringing the heat from big crowds to buzzing engines. Temperatures are expected to be above average for this time of year.

“We are enhancing our plans with multiple misting stations throughout the fans zone and the grandstands as well as cooling fans throughout the grandstands,” said Matt Greci, Nashville Superspeedway VP of Events and Operations.

To help people stay cool, Nashville Superspeedway will also have cooling towels on hand, allowing fans to bring sealed water bottles.

“Our partner Vanderbilt LifeFlight (will be) well-equipped. We are bringing in some extra AC tents, extensions of our care centers at the grandstands,” stated Greci.

“Vanderbilt LifeFlight has been doing event medicine for a long time. So, we will have everything from EMTs, paramedics, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians there, a whole comprehensive team to help take care of folks,” explained  Dr. Stephan Russ, Executive Medical Director of Vanderbilt LifeFlight.

While Vanderbilt LifeFlight medical teams will be on-site throughout the weekend, emergency physicians are offering the following safety tips:

  • Avoid prolonged direct exposure to bright sunlight—take a time out in the shade, wear a broad-brimmed hat, or shield yourself from the sun in another way.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting cotton clothing.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Alcohol predisposes people to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
  • Remember that some people are more vulnerable than others: the very young, the very old, and people taking diuretics or anti-hypertensive medications have a greater risk from the heat.
  • Know the symptoms of heat problems: “Just not feeling right,” --lethargy, dizziness, trouble concentrating, and slurred speech are common early symptoms.
  • Know how to respond to heat problems: Get the affected person to a cool area out of the direct sunlight, keep them wet with cool water or wet towels, and turn a fan on them to help cool the body. If the person quickly feels better, no further medical attention is likely needed. However, if symptoms persist, get the person to a doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen! All first aid stations will have sunscreen if you forget yours.

“Up to 24 hours in advance, start getting hydrated. Even if you are not thirsty, ensure you are getting plenty of water,” Dr. Russ said.

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