Beating the heat with the return of NASCAR

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – With NASCAR returning to Middle Tennessee this week, many are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend.

A race track isn’t the only thing that brings heat from big crowds to loud engines. Temperatures are expected to be above average at this time of year.

“We are strengthening our plans with multiple mist stations throughout the fans area and stands as well as cooling fans throughout the stands,” said Matt Gracie, vice president of events and operations at Nashville Superspeedway.

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

“Our partner Vanderbilt LifeFlight (will be) very well equipped. We are bringing in some extra air conditioning tents, and extensions to our care centers in the stands,” Greci stated.

“Vanderbilt LifeFlight has been doing juvenile medicine for a long time. So, we’re going to have everything from EMTs, paramedics, nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors out there, and a whole comprehensive team to help care for people,” explained Dr. Stefan Ross, Executive Medical Director For Vanderbilt LifeFlight Corporation.

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

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to bright sunlight – spend a lot of time in the shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat, or otherwise protect yourself from the sun.
  • 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 susceptible than others: the young, the elderly, and people who take diuretics or anti-hypertensive medications are at greater risk of heat.
  • Know the symptoms of heat problems: ‘feeling uncomfortable’ – fussiness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and speaking are common early symptoms.
  • Learn how to respond to heat problems: Keep the affected person in a cool place out of direct sunlight, keep them moist with cool water or wet towels, and run a fan on them to help cool the body. If the person feels better quickly, no further medical attention is needed. However, if symptoms persist, get the person to see a doctor.
  • Apply sunscreen! All first aid stations will have sunscreen on if you forget it.

“Up to 24 hours in advance, start getting hydrated. Even if you’re not thirsty, make sure you get plenty of water,” Dr. Ross said.

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