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Take precautions to stay cool

Predictions of a hot summer are coming true with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees already having been recorded several times during the past several weeks.

The extreme heat and high humidity can lead to serious health issues.

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. That adds up to more than 600 deaths each year due to extreme heat, the CDC reports.

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 or unconsciousness.

Get immediate medical attention if you see 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.

Don’t leave children or pets unattended inside a vehicle, regardless of whether the windows are cracked.

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

Drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic beverages. Dress in cool, light-fitting clothes. Wear a hat and make sure to use plenty of sunscreen.

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

There are still plenty of hot days ahead. Make sure to take the proper precautions.

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