Beware of summer heat effects

Monday, August 4th 2008, 7:47 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther, INsite Team

The recent triple-digit temperatures are not just uncomfortable, they can also be deadly.

The heat wave has prompted EMSA to issue its first heat alert of the year.

Heat was a contributing factor to two deaths this weekend, and because heat-related calls kept EMSA busy this weekend they decided to issue a heat alert.

Stephen Mathes and his nephews couldn't resist either jumping into the pool to cool off.

"Took the day off school and just having some fun trying to keep the kids cool," Mathes said.

But fun in the sun in this heat could be dangerous especially for children. EMSA treated a dozen people this weekend due to heat related issues.

"So far this year we've been pretty lucky and haven't had to issue one, but over the weekend we did reach the point where we thought the heat was getting dangerous and did issue the heat alert," EMSA Operations Manager Gary Lord said.

High temperatures can also be dangerous for those who work in the heat, pets and the elderly. Izetta Countess, 73, sought shelter at the Warr Acres cooling center.

"I've got to be in where it's cool all the time, I don't want to get heat stroke or anything," Countess said.

Heat stroke can be deadly.

"This is an emergency," NEWS 9 Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Mary Ann Bauman said. "This is where your temperature is above 104 degrees and you're sustained at that level."

To avoid an emergency situation health officials said to take such precautions as reduce outdoor activity, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and wear lightweight or light colored clothing.

"As you run into consecutive heat days, it really starts to compound so as each day we go forward they're still feeling the effects of the heat the day before," Lord said.

If you experience heat related symptoms such as muscle cramps, nausea and/or faintness EMSA officials said to get inside and if the symptoms get worse call 911.