NORMAN — As football fans gear up for another University of Oklahoma home game in Norman on Saturday, officials encourage residents to be prepared for another hot day.
Last weekend, seven individuals were transported from the football stadium; three of those were heat related, said Pete Moris, assistant athletics director at OU.
Forty-seven people were seen by physicians at the Gomer Jones Medical Unit at the football stadium for a variety of reasons as well, Moris said, adding that those could be anything from torn ankles to bumps and bruises.
“Out of 85,000 some people, 47 were seen by physicians and seven were transported from the facility,” Moris said. “That’s a pretty standard number anytime you get 85,000-plus people at one event.”
Calls recorded in the Norman Police Department’s daily activity log show that emergency officials responded to a variety of calls at the stadium, including heat exposure, unconscious or fainting problems, breathing problems and many sick person calls.
Moris said he wants to encourage everyone this week to hydrate well the day before the home game.
Eddie Sims, manager of Norman EMSStat, said this week is probably going to be just as hot as last week and people should drink lots of water or Gatorade before they even go out into the heat. He also advised of avoiding caffeine and alcoholic beverages, as those will dehydrate individuals.
“If they start feeling thirsty, they’re already behind the curve,” Sims said.
It’s also important to realize that temperatures will be 30 degrees hotter above concrete. Attendees should look for shady or grassy areas when they get hot so they can cool off.
Fans also should look for cooling stations set up around the stadium. Moris said there will be stations on the lower end of the stadium and the upper level with cool air and air conditioning.
Moris also wants to encourage people to take advantage of the shade as well as OU’s policy that allows individuals to bring clear, plastic water bottles into the game. There also will be concession stands with water available.
If you see someone who looks like they may be getting overheated, Moris said to tell someone, whether it’s an officer or an usher to help them out before it becomes a bigger problem.
Sims said if you begin to feel sick to your stomach, feel dizzy or throw up, immediately find a place to cool off. If your skin gets hot and dry, that is a sign of a heat stroke and a life-threatening medical emergency in which you should call 911 and get into a cool place, he said.
Those who should be particularly cautious in the heat include people with medical problems, the elderly and young children, Sims said.
Above all, Moris said a healthy dose of common sense could go a long way in beating the heat.
“If you’re tailgating, make sure to get some water in your system so you don’t get dehydrated,” Moris said.
Temperatures on Saturday are predicted to hit 94 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.