Heat advisory issued

Published 12:04 am Saturday, June 30, 2012



It’s very simple, Andalusia Regional Hospital ER medical director Dr. Mark Griffin said.

For those who work outside, and those who choose to do yard work, exercise, or play outside during this week’s extreme heat, drinking water is the key to avoiding heat-related illness.

“Not Coke or tea or Gatorade or energy drinks or beer,” he said. “Water.”

“The body is built to restore itself with water,” he said.

Exposure to extreme heat can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Griffin said those who are affected by the heat should get to a cool place and drink water. The time to show up an emergency room is:

• when the body temperature exceeds 102 degrees.

• when muscle cramps won’t stop.

Working outdoors in temperatures like those currently occurring in South Alabama causes extreme dehydration. Yesterday, the National Weather Service issued a special weather statement warning that dangerous heat is possible this weekend with afternoon heat indices between 102 and 107. On Sunday, the heat index could be between 107 and 111 degrees.

“You could easily lose a gallon of water in two hours in these temperatures,” Griffin said. “You lose two quarts of water a day if you’re just sitting in the air conditioning and breathing. So if you are working outside, drink twice as much as you think you need.”

The same rules apply for those who exercise outdoors, he said.

“Try to schedule your workout in the early morning or late afternoon, and replenish twice as much water as you think you need,” he said.

The heat is a concern for organizers of this weekend’s 13-15 Babe Ruth District Tournament being played at LBWCC,

Eddie Stacey said each team has many different ways to cool

off when playing games.

“We’ve placed cool fans inside the dugouts for the kids,” Stacey said. “We’ve got water coolers and everything for them.”

As a side of precaution, Stacey said the officials are advising everyone to “keep an eye on the players.”

Room temperature water is better for overcoming hydration loss than ice water, Griffin said, as it is less likely to cause abdominal cramps.

Extreme heat can lead to heat stroke, which can be life threatening, he said.

“Drink your water and let’s not go there.”