August heat is relentless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

August heat is relentless

August 7, 2007

Lee County --  With these dangerously hot temperatures, it's important that you use caution when outdoors.   Nationwide, more than 8,000 people died from the heat between 1979 and 2003.    

Monday we had record breaking temperatures, today is expected to be the same. So just how do you keep your cool?

For people who have to actually work in the heat, that question can seem impossible to answer. Constant water breaks are a must. Right now, you can truly say were in an August heat wave, and health leaders say you can quickly become a victim of heat exhaustion or even heat stroke if you're constantly exposed to the heat and not drinking plenty of water.

If you're wearing heavy clothes and long sleeves, and people who don't wear sun screen can also put themselves at risk. Health officials say people who are obese, people who are elderly, also people with heart disease and mental illness are at even a greater risk.

"Heat related illness can occur with anyone, not just these people that are at increased risk," says Public Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant. "Everyone is at risk when you have tempetaures like were having with high humiditiy levels, but there are some things you can do. You can basically try to stay indoors in air conditioned rooms if you can. If you don't have air conditioning, you can go to a public facility that does."

Simply put, she says just avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day if you can.

Early morning and evenings are best, but also remember to wear insect repellent when going outside because were also in the West Nile season.

Because of the high heat index, it feels about 10 to 15 degrees hotter outside than it actually is.

Again, health officials say drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol in the heat and avoid those sugary drinks, which actually cause you to lose more body fluid.

Health experts recommend drinking two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour.

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