HARTFORD, Conn. — Summer will show its true potential at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell this weekend for the Travelers Championship, calling for hot and dry days on the green for athletes and spectators alike.
The heat and humidity will rise for the weekend, with the FOX61 Weather Watch team forecasting temperatures in the low-90s for Saturday and Sunday.
Dr. Eric Walsh, the medical director of Hartford HealthCare's Go Health Urgent Care, is advising attendees, playing or watching, to be prepared to beat the heat.
It's important to start hydrating even before going out for the day and to stay hydrated throughout the event and even after the festivities are over.
"You have to hydrate all the way through. When we sweat we not only lose water but we also lose electrolytes, sodium, potassium...so those need to be replaced," Walsh said.
While many athletes may turn to Gatorade to refuel, Walsh advises that Pedialyte contains less sugar and would be more healthy and effective. Eating foods with plenty of water and electrolytes in them, like fruit and vegetables, work too. Those fruits include watermelon and oranges.
Spectators also need to fuel up before hitting the sidelines, as outside food and beverages are not allowed past security. Empty reusable water bottles are allowed and can be filled at the fill-up stations around the green.
To stay hydrated and energized, snacks like fruit cups, pretzels, trail mix and Kind bars are available at the concession stands, as well as Powerade and bottled water.
Fun foods like burgers and hot dogs should not have any negative effects when it comes to staying in the heat and the sun, as long as hydration stays a priority, according to Walsh.
Sunscreen is essential to pack in your bag; the tournament is right in the middle of peak sunlight, which means "extreme" exposure to the sun's rays and UV light.
"it's always good to apply before you get out into the sun, so that is the first application," Walsh said.
Depending on the brand and strength of the sunscreen, consider reapplying after two or three hours at a time. Go for a sunscreen with at least 25 SPF.
"The fairer your skin, the more important it is but even darker skin folk do need to protect themselves from the ultraviolet rays of the sun," Walsh said.
For clothing, make sure to wear loose-fitting, light-colored outfits. Spectators can bring umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun.
"You gotta take some breaks. I mean you can't stand out there in the sun for two to three hours unless you find some way to get to some shade or some air conditioning," Walsh said.
If you're in a group, plan ahead and coordinate when members can rotate out to cool down to keep your spot on the sidelines.
Even with keeping up with hydration and staying cool, fatigue could sneak up. Be aware if you or someone around you is starting to feel the effects of heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion can be alleviated by getting caught up on hydration, according to Walsh. Drink water or electrolytes, get into the AC, or pour water on your head and neck to cool down.
Heat stroke is a lot more serious, and may end up in a trip to the emergency room. That's when the body stops sweating and body temperatures sharply increase, Walsh said. Other symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, and experiencing blackouts. Get out of the sun immediately and seek medical attention.
Regardless of severity, there are several medical tents at TPC to visit if you are not feeling well:
- Near the clubhouse
- At the Stanley Black & Decker Fan Zone
- Between holes 3 and 4
- Between holes 11 and 12
All medical tents are giving out water for free too. See anyone in a yellow shirt and they'll be ready to help. They have sunscreen as well.
Once you get home and cool down, wash the sunscreen off your skin to let it breathe, Walsh advises. Taking a dip in the pool works too if there is one you can access nearby. Applying aloe works to mitigate the effects that can come with sunburns.
Hartford HealthCare's Go Health Urgent Care centers are open across Connecticut all weekend and even for the Fourth of July holiday for patients that have concerns about their health, particularly after a hot day on the green.
Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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