Safe ways to beat the heat

Local - 7/15/2013 6:23 PM by Rebecca Turco
BECKLEY - Temperatures are expected to hit more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, so WOAY compiled some tips to safely beat the heat.

Hot weather can bring about heat stress, according to Lead Physician Assistant Farrah Zahir of Beckley ARH Hospital. Heat stress has a three-level spectrum: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and - the most severe - heatstroke.

"The moment you notice that your skin is turning red, you're looking overheated," explained Zahir. "People don't realize that they're actually sweating (water) out and the next thing you know, you're collapsing from heatstroke and heat exhaustion."

Beckley resident Missy Hubbard has had that feeling before. "I've been dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out from not having enough water in me," Hubbard said. 

The body can collapse from a system shutdown if its internal temperature rises too high. To avoid this, Zahir recommends drinking plenty of water and staying away from direct sunlight for extended time periods. Also, people should not overexert themselves in the heat.

"Every so often, just stop back and step back and take it easy," Zahir said. Stretching can also help with muscle cramps.

As a precaution, Zahir recommends a visit to the emergency room for anyone experiencing intense nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure or high body temperature.


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