Summertime sun increases risk for heat exhaustion

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Summertime in Arkansas means heat and humidity and the dangers of heat exhaustion.

Ashley House, an advanced practice registered nurse with NEA Baptist, said heat exhaustion could happen within 20 to 30 minutes with the kind of heat we see in the summer.

Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion include a rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, confusion, dizziness, and weakness.

So what should you do if you start to experience heat exhaustion?

“Stop what they’re doing immediately, get into a shaded area or inside the home, lay down with a bottle of water or Gatorade, get the feet in the air, and try to hydrate and rest,” House said. “And again, if it’s getting really severe, if consciousness is an issue, if you can call 911 first or a family member to be over there in case something bad happens.”

There are some things you can do to reduce your risk of heat exhaustion.

One is to do outside activities during the mornings and afternoons, before the hottest period of the day.

Also, prepare your body before you go outside by drinking extra water and drinking plenty of water while you are out.

If you have to go outside, make sure you tell someone you are outdoors.

House also stressed the importance of checking on kids participating in summer practices and sports and playing outside in the heat.

“They need to follow similar steps to the adult and hydration,” House said. “You may have to push kids a little bit more because again they’re not going to be thinking about these things.”

She said to have your kids drink a bottle of water or have a popsicle before they go out, and then remind them to drink water and take a break frequently while outside.

Eating a heavy meal before you go outside can also make you sicker, so House suggests you eat a light meal before going outside.

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