Summer Scorcher: UW Closes Non-Air Conditioned RecSports Facilities

Posted Thursday, July 5, 2012 --- 11:34 a.m.

From UW-Madison:

Rec Sports: It has been recommended by University Health Services that the Division of Recreational Sports close all non-air conditioned activity spaces with the intent of re-opening on Sunday, July 8. The only exception will be Intercollegiate Athletic summer camps with medical staff on duty.

By facility, the activity spaces that will remain open in each facility are:

Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF): Cardio room, weight room, racquetball courts, swimming pool.

Natatorium: Swimming pool

The Shell and Nielsen Tennis Stadium: Closed until further notice. Updates to facilities and schedules are available here.

Eagle Heights cooling center: In addition, University Housing has opened a cooling center in the Eagle Heights Community Center for any residents in need of relief. Hours are flexible, and at the direction of Housing staff.

Hot weather health tips: UW Health experts are warning the campus community to limit activity to avoid the threat of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Dr. Allan Mottram in the Department of Emergency Medicine says the symptoms of heat exhaustion — a depletion of the body's water and/or salt resources — include feeling overheated or lightheaded, fatigue and nausea.

"With heat stroke, which is the more severe form," he continues, "people are dehydrated to the point they're not sweating and their temperatures are elevated to a dangerous point. They can become confused and even unconscious."

Take steps to prevent heat-related illness:

Keep an eye on the reported heat index, which can be found on a number of online weather sites and is often broadcast on the local news.

Avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and sun. If you're outside, seek out shady areas for protection and identify public spaces with air-conditioning as places of refuge from the heat.

Stay hydrated. Drink enough water, both before you go outside and when you're exposed to heat.

Limit your strenuous activities, and be smart about those you can't avoid. "If you're doing something like mowing the lawn," says Mottram, "plan to do those things in the morning or evening, not in the middle of the day."

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