With temperatures expected to be in the upper 90s with a heat index of more than 100 on Saturday, University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials are encouraging fans planning to attend that day’s Cornhusker football game to be aware of the dangers of extreme heat and to take steps to protect themselves.
The Huskers will kick off the season at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium against the University of Wyoming. Stadium gates open at 5:30 p.m. – at which point forecasts are placing the expected heat index at 103 degrees. The heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature – what it feels like, as opposed to the actual temperature.
Excessive heat can be dangerous and even life-threatening. In addition, many seats will be in direct sunshine, which can raise the heat index by an additional 15 degrees. Large gatherings of people in close contact also contribute to higher heat indexes by limiting cooling effects of breezes, increasing humidity and raising heat levels from body heat. Risk factors are greater for infants and young children, people 65 and older, and those who are ill, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure.
To prevent heat illness, fans attending Saturday’s game should:
Drink lots of water. Avoid drinking liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, which actually cause the loss of more body fluid.
Minimize direct contact with the sun. Try to rest often in shady areas.
Avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Snack regularly, rather than eating heavy meals. Consider eating light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads.
Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
Water fountains are located on the main concourses of Memorial Stadium, and two large, portable water fountains also will be added Saturday – one at the north and one at the south end of the stadium, located underneath the seating bowls. In addition, fans on Aug. 31 will be permitted to bring in their own sealed, clear, non-frozen commercial bottled water containers of up to 20 ounces into Memorial Stadium.
The Red Cross will be on hand to provide emergency medical services and First Aid stations are in the southeast corner of field level, East Stadium upper concourse, East Stadium club level, northwest concourse and West Stadium club level. An emergency heart unit is in the northwest concourse; Advanced Cardiac Life Support is in the southeast corner of field level. Contact Red Cross volunteers, Boy Scout volunteers or stadium security personnel for assistance.