Beware of heat! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Beware of heat!

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August 7, 2007

Albany - - 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. So just how do you keep cool?

For people who have to actually work in the heat, the answer to that question isn't easy. Constant water breaks are a must. Right now, Health care workers say you can quickly become a victim of heat exhaustion or heat stroke if you're in the heat, wearing heavy clothes, and not drinking plenty of water.

People who don't wear sunscreen can also put themselves at risk. Health officials say people who are obese, people who are elderly, and 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. Everyone is at risk when you have temperatures like were having with high humidity 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," says Public Health Director Jacqueline Grant.

Avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day if you can. Also remember to wear insect repellent when going outside because we're also in the West Nile season.

Again, health officials say drink plenty of water *AND* avoid alcohol in the heat and avoid sugary drinks.

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