ER Doctor offers tips on keeping cool and staying safe in the summer heat
As the late summer days begin to heat up, there are two things you should do to prevent a heat-related illness, according to Ryan Squier, MD, emergency medicine physician at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“The number one thing you can do prevent a heat-related illness is hydrate,” said Dr. Squier. “If you’re working or exercising outdoors, you can become dehydrated in a matter of hours, which impairs your body’s natural cooling system. If you’re one of the many people who take medications that make you lose water, it is especially important to replace the fluids you’ve lost in the heat.”
Dr. Squier also says listening to your body is key to preventing potentially life threatening conditions like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. “When heatstroke occurs, blood travels from your core to your extremities in an attempt to cool the body. This can lead to a number of dangerous conditions and can even be fatal. So if you’re working outdoors and start to not feel well, take immediate steps to cool your body, either by resting in the shade, moving to an air conditioned space or taking a dip in the pool.”
Symptoms of a heatstroke include:
- High body temperature (104 F or higher)
- Altered mental state or behavior
- Alteration in sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushed skin
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart rate
If you think you may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help.
Dr. Squier also spoke with NBC 4 about the dangers of high temperatures. You can watch that story below.