Marti Camacho, a nurse practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, said many of the cases he's witnessed there have had to do with increased outdoor physical activity. Aside from last week's triathlon activities in the city, which he said brought an influx of patients into the ED, injuries during the current heat wave have occurred among "average recreational athletes ... who are ill-prepared to handle the rigors of a high-heat environment."
Walls said one of the most prevalent issues during times of high heat is sports training, especially among younger athletes.
"There's simply no more reason for sports teams to be out aggressively exercising in this heat than there is for them to be out in a lightning storm," he said.
Walls added that during a heat wave is an opportune time for physicians to remind patients about the basics of preventing heat exhaustion: stay indoors -- in air conditioning, if possible. If air conditioning in the home isn't an option, head to a mall or other area in the community that has air conditioning.
Researchers also recommend staying properly hydrated and avoiding carbonated and caffeinated beverages, which can add to dehydration. If you are out in the heat, you may need as much as a liter (roughly a quart) of water an hour, or even more depending on your level of activity. Go primarily with water, but if you're very active, an occasional sports drink is a good idea.
According to the National Weather Service, three-digit temperatures are expected again on Wednesday, falling into the 90s by Thursday and Friday but coupled with high humidity. Relief is expected to blow through the region on Saturday, with the arrival of cold front and thunderstorms.