Keeping safe in high temperatures - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keeping safe in high temperatures

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SUNNYSIDE, WA - Every summer, hospitals in our area see a record number of patients with heat-related injuries; most of them coming from not drinking enough water and being out in the heat too long. Those most at risk during the hot months are children, seniors and those with chronic conditions.

Heat-related injuries are on a continuum: first, a person may get dehydrated, which normally comes when your body isn't getting enough water. Then it becomes more severe.

"You start to get dehydrated and that's early on… that may progress to heat exhaustion and heat stroke," said Dr.James Kneller, Astria Heart Institute, Astria Regional Medical Center. "That's all in the context of being too hot."

Anyone can be at risk for both heat stroke and heat exhaustion if they're out in the sun too long with little to no water. Heat exhaustion comes next on the continuum, and it causes your body temps to rise to about 104 degrees farenheit. Symptoms include nausea, clammy skin, heavy sweating, and/or muscle aches. If you don't seek medical attention that could lead to heat stroke where it could be potentially life threatening.

To avoid these conditions it's advised you drink water continually throughout the day. Drink at least 16 to 20 ounces of water a few hours before you head outdoors. Drink about 6 to 12 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes you are out in the sun. Stay indoors during the hottest times of the day. If you must leave home to run errands, try and do it early in the morning or later in the evenings. Wear sunscreen at all times, carry a water bottle with you, and wear a wide brim hat.

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