A bank temperature sign mid-day Wednesday say it was 100 degrees. I’m not sure if the sign was right but it felt like that to me and I had only been outside for about an hour.
The blazing sun and high humidity “can take its toll quickly,” says Dr. Sanjay Iyer who is an emergency room physician at Memorial Health. “You need to take adequate precautions in terms of staying cool and giving yourself opportunities to cool down and drink plenty of liquids for hydration,” he said.
It’s information we’ve all heard before but Dr. Iyer says take it seriously. He says even for those who live here, it can take up to seven days to become acclimated to the extreme heat and humidity. He says tourists need to be especially careful as many may be coming from parts of the country that don’t have such high humidity.
For those who work outside or who are used to exercising outside, staying hydrated is something that’s probably ingrained. But still, there’s no doubt doing something like jogging in this heat is just tough. We found Paul Pusha at Forsyth Park getting in his run, but he said he was definitely hot. “”Very, very hot but you’ve got to get that workout in regardless,” he told me. “But I make sure I stay hydrated.”
Dr. Iyer says everyone needs to be aware of heat exhaustion symptoms and those who are most vulnerable, which he says are the elderly and the very young. He says a toddler can’t tell his mom he’s thirsty and a senior citizen may not think they’re thirsty, but in both cases, Dr. Iyer says the child and the senior probably needs fluids. He says it’s important for caretakers to be aware of who is the most susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion.
“Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids, that’s the most important thing you can do and if you’re starting to get symptoms of nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, or increasing fatigue or severe headaches then you seek medical attention,” Dr. Iyer said.
He said he’s already seen several cases of heat exhaustion this month involving construction workers.