Tips to avoid heat related illnesses to stay safe this summer - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tips to avoid heat-related illnesses this summer

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Children are at higher risk for heat-related injuries due to their thin skin. Children are at higher risk for heat-related injuries due to their thin skin.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It's still early in the summer season, but people in the Chattahoochee Valley soldiered through several hot days already.

High temperatures can cause serious danger and heat related illnesses as families enjoy more outdoor activities and vacation trips throughout summer.

It's important for everyone to stay hydrated and take frequent water breaks in the shade or cool areas, but Dr. James Fortenberry from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said parents need to be extra careful when they take young children and infants out in the heat.

"Children are at higher risk for heat-related injuries because they have thin skin," Dr. Fortenberry said. "They do not manage the heat exchange well. They tend to lose more fluids through their skin and so they need extra fluids relative to what an adult does."

Parents need to keep their infants out of direct sun and make sure their babies are drinking fluid every 20 to 30 minutes. Older kids need to avoid sodas with caffeine and take frequent water breaks.

"After about an hour water is not enough. Use a sports drink since it can be helpful for the extra electrolytes in it," Dr. Fortenberry explained.

Adults also need to stay safe in the heat by drinking a lot of water, wearing light colored and breathable clothing and taking breaks in cool areas.

People over 65 years of age can protect themselves from heat related illnesses during hot weather by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks as well. It helps to take a shower in cool water if their bodies feel too hot. Since their bodies may not adjust well to heat or sudden changes in temperature, so it's important for seniors to stay in air-conditioned places to stay safe.

Some common symptoms adults and children need to look out for when it comes to heat related illnesses are faintness, tiredness, and fever and muscle spasms. If these symptoms worsen, you need to seek medical attention right away.

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