Keep your cool during these hot summer months

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

With temperatures hitting 100 degrees Monday, it’s a good time for a reminder of the importance of staying cool.

With heat illness, the body’s cooling system shuts down, according to

&uot;Mild symptoms of heat exhaustion include thirst, fatigue, and cramps in the legs or abdomen. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke. Serious heat-related symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, decreased alertness and a temperature as high as 105 F or more,&uot; according to the Web site.

About 400 people die each year from heat-related illnesses. People over 65 or young children are especially susceptible to heat stroke. Alcohol can increase the risk, as can some medications.

And children die each year from heat-related illness after being left in hot cars. Temperatures rise higher inside cars than on the outside, and do so faster than most people realize. It only takes a few minutes for a situation to turn tragic.

On hot days, the web site recommends some steps to prevent heat illnesses:

n Stay in the air conditioning as much as possible. If you don’t have working air conditioning, spend time in public areas such as libraries or malls.

n Reduce exercise or strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day. Stick to early mornings or late afternoons.

n If you are outside for long periods of time, wear light, loose-fitting clothing and have water or sports drinks before, during and after activity.

If someone is experiencing heat illness, have the person lie down in a cool place and use water, wet towels and fanning to help cool the person until help arrives. – Selma-Times Journal