Extreme heat requires preparation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Extreme heat requires preparation

Kitty Bishop of the SW GA Public Health Kitty Bishop of the SW GA Public Health
Dr. Charlie Deriso, Veterinarian Dr. Charlie Deriso, Veterinarian

We are still a month away from summer, and we've already broken some high temperature records.

And if this is any indication, hang on for a hot summer, and with the heat, come dangers.

We have to take extra precautions to protect children, the elderly and our pets.

Normally public health officials don't release heat related safety tips until July, but because of the extreme heat, they are issuing their warning early.

It's not just hot outside, it's hot and sticky, and when high temperatures and humidity mix, it makes for a dangerous combination.

"When you combine extreme temperatures and humidity then that's when the body can't sweat,"said  Kitty Bishop of the SW GA Public Health.

If your body is unable to release heat, body temperatures rise."You could have nausea confusion dizziness lightheaded and then eventually pass out or have a throbbing headache," Bishop said.

Everyone should take precaution, but older adults, children and people with chronic or mental illness are most at risk.

"If you've been drinking sugary drinks, energy drinks alcoholic beverages it makes it even worse," Bishop said.

The number one protection against heat released illness and death, is good ole fashion air conditioning. "If you don't have air conditioning in your home, you can go to public places like the mall, the library"

But it's not just people who are at risk; your pets are, too. "When the humidity gets higher it gets worse, just like it is on us."

Veterinarian Dr. Charlie Deriso has already seen a couple heat related cases, "It would be dogs that were normally inside but spent the day outside and overheated."

He says make sure your pets are hydrated, "People may not realize how much their pets are drinking water right now, so you need to keep an eye on their water buckets," said Deriso.

And make sure they have a spot out of the sunlight. "When you see that dogs panting, they get very weak."

To help cool your pets down, trying dipping their paws in water or rubbing alcohol, a fan can provide some relief too, but never leave your pet in the car. It's one of the most common, and deadly mistakes.

"Even if its 10 or 15 minutes it can become a danger," Deriso said.

Heat related illness and deaths are preventable, you just have to take the proper precautions.

Some signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include headache dizziness, dry skin and a rapid pulse.

If you have any elderly relatives or friends, it's a good idea to check on them regularly and make sure they are staying cool since older individuals are more at risk.

If you suspect heat stroke in a person or an animal call emergency officials or your veterinarian right away.

 

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