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Be careful in the heat

June 24, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

You don't need to look at the calendar to know summer has arrived.

The thermometer has been pushing 90 degrees for the past several days, a little early based on average weather.

The sudden heat wave is a good time, even though early, to issue a reminder that excessive heat is a real danger to many people.

More people in this country die from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Weather Service hasn't issued a heat advisory for the recent hot weather, but there will be times later this summer when the weather service will warn residents to take extra precautions because of the high heat and humidity.

Health professionals who all too often see people suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke are recommending taking special precautions with the hot temperatures.

Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature, according to the CDC. Symptoms include an extremely high body temperature; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; and confusion and unconsciousness.

Get immediate medical attention if you know someone with these symptoms.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids, the CDC reported. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

The CDC reported the symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting.

The symptoms will go away with moving the person to a cool environment, providing cool, nonalcoholic drinks and bathing in cool water.

Keep an eye on fellow workers if working outdoors. Check on elderly or sick neighbors to make sure they are dealing with the hot temperatures.

Also, keep an eye on outdoor pets. Make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh water.

Find a cool place during the hottest time of the day.

Welcome to summer.

 
 

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