Be prepared during high heat days
by Elisabetta Zengaro
Jul 10, 2014 | 1663 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Summer is a time for picnics and outdoor recreation, but staying outside in extreme heat can be dangerous.

Extremely high temperatures in the summer can cause people who stay outside for a long period of time to experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, heat exhaustion is as a type of heat-related illness that can develop after long exposure to high temperatures and inadequate water.

Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down, according to the MDH.

The following symptoms are usually associated with heat exhaustion: heavy sweating but skin may be cool or pale, weak pulse, body temperature may be normal but temperature will likely rise, fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches are possible.

If someone has symptoms of heat exhaustion, move the victim to a cool place, increase cool water intake, place cool wet towel on neck and underarms and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who are most at risk for heat-related illness are infants and children, people age 65 and older, people who have a mental illness, and those who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure.

The CDC offers these tips for preventing heat-related illness: drink lots of fluids, avoid alcoholic beverages or drinks with a high sugar content, stay indoors and in air conditioning, wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing, and never leave passengers in a closed, parked vehicle.

When being outside in the heat, the CDC advises people to limit outdoor activity to mornings/evenings, limit exercise, rest often in the shade, and wear a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15.

However, pets can also be at risk for heat-related illness.

Jessica Ballard, Cleveland Animal Medical Clinic, said they have had three dogs already brought in due to heat exhaustion.

Ballard said there are ways to prevent pets from suffering from heat-related illness.

She also said dogs need to have their water changed twice a day if they are outdoor dogs, and they need a fan outside to help cool them off.

Indoor dogs need to stay inside as much as possible.

Heat exhaustion among cats, though, is not as common.

"The key to keeping your pets safe is to keep their water clean because the water can get hot, said Ballard.

To learn more about prevent heat-related illnesses, visit the CDC’s website.