Heat Illness Risks and Tips You Need to Know Ahead of Summer
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- It isn't tornadoes or hurricanes people should worry most about when it comes to the weather, extreme heat is the leading weather-related death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control heat stroke doesn't just stop at hurting people, it can kill if it's not caught and treated quickly.
“When we get extreme heat with high temperatures well into the 90s and a lot of humidity that is when it gets really stressful on the body,” said Mitchell Gaines, meteorologist for the the National Weather Service.
Heat stroke is when the body's temperature rises rapidly, and your body has a hard time cooling down. The body's temperature can rise to 106°f or higher within several minutes. sweating is the only way your body naturally cools itself down.
“That threshold met around that feels like temperature of 95 degrees combining both the heat and humidity,” Gaines said.
That means when people are working in hot weather, the human body can start to have a difficult time producing enough sweat to keep you cool. With rising temperatures, especially during the summertime, you need to be aware of the conditions that could cause you to suffer from a heat illness.
“(There) can be non-specific symptoms (people) will experience. With time, they could get to the point where they are not sweating anymore. That's the true danger time,” said Dr. Jon Rittenberger of Guthrie.
When a person stops sweating, that means their body temperatures has gotten to a point there is no way to cool down anymore. Other, more severe symptoms can include seizures, confusion, slurred speech and even losing consciousness. When someone begins to show symptoms, the time to act is now. Move to a cool, shaded area. Remove outer clothing to help with the cooling process, and place wet cloths on the skin. If symptoms continue, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Doctor Donald Phykitt with Guthrie says there are steps you can take to try and reduce your risk of heat illnesses, starting with what you wear.
“Lighter colored clothing as they do not absorb the heat. Looser fitting clothing, trying to do the ones that are wicking. Pure cotton is really not good because water can become logged and can effect your ability to take care of the heat.”
It's important to remember to keep drinking water, staying hydrated on hot days is key. Doctor Phykitt says fruits and slightly salted snacks are the best to eat on hot days, rather than the sugary stuff. And if you're feeling overheated head inside and limit your time outdoors to stay safe.
Other tips and tricks to keep you and you household cooler during the hotter days would be closing your blinds and keeping the lights off. On hot days this can reduce the ability of sun coming into your home and will keep your home cooler. Cool showers after working outside will help your body distress.
Also don't forget to take advantage of the Twin Tiers natural resources, like taking trips to local lakes with your friends and family. Temperatures are usually cooler around the lakes and offer a variety of fun ways to cool down like boating, swimming and enjoying the scenery.