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Doctors warn of heat dangers

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

August 5, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Heat-related illnesses kill more people in the U-S every year than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and lightning combined.   Doctors warn South Georgians to beware of heat stroke and not to take it lightly.  

 South Georgians are a pretty hearty lot. And most of us say we can handle the heat, even on a scorcher like today.

But Doctors warn that heat can overcome people in just minutes, and it can be deadly. One man who has a really hot job told us how he handles it. Dexter Works loads wood to heat up a rotisserie smoker at White's Bar-B-Que .  Works said "375 degrees."

The heat index is over 100 outside to begin with, then try being surrounded by four red hot grills cooking Bar B Qu. Open those oven doors and it seems like the chicken is not the only thing being cooked. Works said "It's really not that bad. By me working outdoors for a long period of time outdoors, so I'm used to it. "

Works says he is used to the heat, but Doctors warn that everyone has to beware of the heat to this degree, and watch out for warning signs.  Dr. David Kocherla said "If you feel cramping up, pain where it should not be. And if you are feeling light headed, dizzy."

 You also to have safeguard your pets in this heat. A dog or cat in a closed car can overheat in just minutes. Dr. Trey Newell said "In this extreme temperature, it can cause permanent damage, or death if it isn't resolved."

Pets that are used to being indoors will also overheat very quickly. People of course can too, if you are working or just being outside, you have to take precautions.  Dr. Kocherla said "Go to a shady area, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty, and see if those symptoms go away. "

Works is taking his advice.  Works said " My secret is, drink plenty of water, check on the food, and stay out of the heat. "  

Doctor's say keeping hydrated is the most important part of dealing with the heat. And that doesn't mean one glass, that means drinking several glasses of water an hour to keep yourself going.   And remember you should drink water or sports drinks. You should stay away soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

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