Avoiding heat related illness

We are heading into the dog days of summer.  Temperatures and humidity levels will be extremely high for next week and that means that people need to take extra care to prevent heat related illness.  University of Nebraska Medical Center‘s Dr. Jyoti Mahapatra says there are several symptoms of heat related illness.  They include extreme thirst, heart racing, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting.  If you experience any of the symptoms, make sure to seek medical help.

If you have to work outside in the heat, Dr. Mahapatra says men should not take off their shirts.  She says the skin actually absorbs the heat making one more susceptible to heat stroke or exhaustion.  She says wear loose, light colored clothing that breathes but still keeps you covered.  Also, wear a hat as we absorb a lot of heat through our heads.

Dr. Mahapatra says it is also important to drink lots of water or Gatorade.  She says the excessive sugar in sodas can dehydrate the body.  The same goes for alcohol. 

The heat is especially dangerous for infants and the elderly as they have fewer reserves and are not able to maintain the body temperature as older children or an adult.  Dr. Mahapatra suggests that if you have an elderly neighbor, check on them frequently to make sure they are ok.