First day of summer: staying safe in the heat

Published 10:57 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today marks the official beginning of summer, and while the temperatures have already begun to climb, medical experts in Selma are still reiterating the importance of staying safe in the heat.

Joseph “Thad” Wood, a nurse practitioner at Selma Doctors Clinic, said that while cases of heat health problems are rare in the area, people should still be aware of health factors and safety.

Wood said staying hydrated is important to any outside work.

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“The young and the elderly have an increased risk of overheating,” he said. “Other risk factors include some types of medication we take such as diuretics that can cause us to lose more fluid that normal, so that definitely adds a bigger risk.”

Wood said signs and symptoms of a heat stroke and other problems include headache, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, dizziness and heart rate increase.

“People who are not used to the heat should take a few weeks to get used to the conditions before doing any hard-strenuous outside work,” he said. “If you feel like you are getting too hot use cool water to immerse yourself in.”

Wood also said that wearing the right kind of clothing is important.

According to the Red Cross, excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.