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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An Air Quality Alert was declared for the Louisville Metro area through Thursday.
The Air Quality Index is expected to reach 122 for ozone, which is in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. That includes children, older adults, active adults, and anyone with heart and/or lung ailments.
The American Heart Association has also issued a heat warning and is also making recommendations to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Watch the clock: Avoid being outdoors in the early afternoon (noon-3pm) while the sun is at its strongest
Drink up: Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after exercise. Sodas, fruit drinks and caffeinated drinks should be avoided when in extreme heat conditions.
Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light colored fabric in breathable materials. Before going out, apply sunscreen on exposed areas and reapply every two hours.
Take regular breaks: Find some shade to rest in for a few minutes. Hydrate and begin again.
Heart patients, adults over the age of 50 and those who are overweight need to take special precautions in the heat to reduce their risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The signs of heat stroke are warm, dry skin, a rapid pulse, confusion, a high fever, throbbing headaches, nausea or vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
For all Kentuckians, hydration is extremely important in high heat situations. Drinking plenty of water makes it easier for the heart pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, and lack of adequate fluids can strain the heart and other organs.
Heart health and hydration levels are dependent on the duration and intensity of a person's exercise regimen, the amount of clothing worn, the climate, and an individual's age and weight. For more information about summer heart safety, visit the American Heart Association's website at www.heart.org.