Stifling heat, humidity continue - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Stifling heat, humidity continue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heat causes about 400 deaths a year, and Phoebe Putney's Emergency Room is treating as many as 15 heat related emergencies a day.

Doctors remind you to drink plenty of fluids and stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

The temperature was just in the mid-nineties Tuesday, but the heat index and humidity made it feel much worse. Doctors say we need to put down sodas and alcoholic beverages, and drink up to two glasses of water an hour.

At Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, it doesn't have to be heat exhaustion or heat stroke to be an emergency, they're seeing plenty of other heat related emergencies.

 "We're seeing a lot of other complaints come in that are heat emergencies being masked as other illnesses, such as my legs are hurting me or I'm feeling disoriented but you find out, they're very dehydrated," said Dr. Black.

That's why when the mercury and humidity are up, doctors recommend lots of water.

"By the time you feel thirsty, you're already two-to-ten percent dehydrated so I wouldn't wait on the feeling of thirst to be your guide for re-hydration," said PPMH Emergency Medicine Chairman Dr. James Black.

And you don't have to be out in the sun or doing strenuous activities outside to fall victim to the heat, staying inside a closed up home can be just as dangerous.

"Being inside without air conditioning keeps you in an enclosed area without any good air movement and the temperature can actually rise as high as it is outside, so it's no protection being indoors."

Those cooling off from high temperatures at the swimming pool should be just as aware of the heat. Just because you're in the water, doesn't exempt you from taking a water break.

"It's a good thing if they get out and have water breaks and don't really over exert themselves in the pool because a lot of people don't realize this you still sweat a lot in the pool, you just don't notice this because it's immediately getting washed off of you," said Matt Dickinson, YMCA Lifeguard and Eagle Scout.

The YMCA day camps use the pool as an opportunity for kids to cool off, but counselors keep a close eye that they don't get over exhausted.

 "A couple things we do have them bring their own water bottles to camp and as far as activities outside we try to do most of those during the early, early daytime," said Chase Ranew, YMCA Camp Counselor.

All in an effort to avoid a trip to the emergency room. Doctors say children up to age five and older adults are more susceptible to the heat.

They also say those who struggle with their blood pressure or take a diuretic should also be cautious as the heat index climbs.

 

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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