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Health officials give tips to avoid dehydration as hot temperatures stick around

Published: Jul. 26, 2018 at 7:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2018 at 2:21 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - As temperatures soar, dehydration is lurking, according to health officials.

"When we are out here, it's still hot and they're still working really hard," says Lee Ritchie, director of bands for Columbus High School.

The dangers of dehydration are lurking when you step outside and into the heat., especially if you're out for a long period of time.

Elyse Callahan, a junior in the Columbus High Band, says performing in the heat is something her band members are used to.

While his students practice for the upcoming season, Ritchie says staying hydrated is key.

"We take very regular water breaks. We specify that they need to be sitting in the shade and staying hydrated," says Ritchie.

Ritchie says members are required to bring water bottles to practice but the program also provides coolers with fresh cold water for refills. Medical professionals say constant hydration is a must, especially while you lose fluids during the day through things like sweating or using the restroom.

Doctors say if you don't replenish the electrolytes or water in your body, it could lead to dehydration. Symptoms include cramping in the arms and legs, extreme thirst, fainting or low blood pressure in severe cases, which could lead to death if not immediately treated.

Experts suggest carrying water or fluids with electrolytes on you at all times and drinking them frequently.

"If you don't drink on your water breaks, you'll feel really sick," says  Nakaila Mosley, a sophomore on the Color Guard.

Ritchie says the program uses psychrometers---a tool which uses a wet and dry bulb thermometer to measure the atmospheric humidity outside---for days during outside practices.

"If that psychrometer tells us not to be out here, we can't be out here," says Ritchie.

"We do this during the two hottest weeks of July and then we put on uniforms and go perform in August, and it's okay because we are used to this," says  Jade Tiner, a junior band member.

If you or someone you know thinks you may be showing signs of dehydration, seek immediate medical attention and get checked out.

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