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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 10, 2010

If you are working or exercising in hot weather and not drinking enough fluids you can be at risk for developing heat exhaustion.

With temperatures expected to be in the 80s this week, we encourage all to take the necessary precautions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at greater risk for heat exhaustion are infants and young children, the elderly, people with heart disease or high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in hot weather.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can lead to a heat stroke-when the body cannot control its temperature. With heat stroke, body temperature may rise quickly to 106 degrees or higher. Heat stroke could be fatal or cause permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.Seek medical treatment immediately if the symptoms are severe or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.

If a person shows the signs of heat exhaustion, here are some tips to help cool off:

n Move to the shade and preferably to an air-conditioned environment.

n Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.

n Rest.

n Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

n Wear lightweight clothing.

In hot weather to protect yourself against developing heat exhaustion:

n Drink more liquids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. (If your doctor limits your fluid intake or you are on a diuretic medication, check with your doctor on how much you should drink in hot weather.)

n Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar-these will cause you to lose more body fluid.

n Avoid very cold drinks-these could cause stomach cramps.

n Stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned place.

n Take a cool shower or bath.

If you have to be out in the heat:

n Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

n Rest often in the shade.

n Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.