Lifeguards, medical officials noticing spike in heat-related inj - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Lifeguards, medical officials noticing spike in heat-related injuries on Tybee


Lifeguards and medical officials are seeing a spike in heat-related injuries and illnesses this season on Tybee Island.

Tybee Island Ocean Rescue officials told us they sent at least six beachgoers to the hospital with heat-related injuries Wednesday, but they also say these types of injuries can be easily avoided if you stay hydrated and in the shade.

A few student leaders with the Urban Hope Summer Camp, who were responsible for taking care of 75 kids at the beach Thursday afternoon, told us they had to be extra cautious to keep them safe. 

"We make sure the kids have a lot of water and stay close to the end of the shore so they won't go out too deep while they're cooling off in the hot sun," said Jowond Brown, student leader. "Drink plenty of fluids drink a lot of water and other things like Gatorade, things with electrolytes in it, and have some salt as well."

Officials at Memorial Health say they’ve also seen an increase in calls from people working outside. They say they had at least patient come in on Wednesday after having a heat stroke from being outside for a long period and wearing heavy clothes.

"If you're standing up and you have trouble walking, you start seeing spots, you start getting a headache or lightheaded or tingly, you're obviously having heat exhaustion, and you're very dehydrated. It's when you need more water in you," said Captain Todd Horne, Tybee Island Ocean Rescue. 

Doctor Katie Dean says these are the symptoms you'll start to feel if you have a heat-related injury.

"So it usually starts with heat cramps so people get overheated, they're sweaty and they just start aching all over and having cramps,” Katie Dean, MD. “At that point, we recommend really getting out of the heat trying to relax, hydrate, cool off, from there it can progress to things like confusion really feeling lightheaded or dizzy sometimes people pass out. "If they're awake and alert enough to drink fluids for you, then that's always recommended. Get some water in them, take off any clothing that could be getting them warm out of the sun and into the shade. "

Dr. Dean also recommends keeping cool liquids in the vicinity. She adds you want to always remember to wear sunscreen because they're also seeing patients coming in with severe sunburn. 

Remember - you can have fun as long as you're prepared for the heat. 

"They're just basically overheated. We want everyone to enjoy themselves while at the beach, but drink enough water and try to stay away from the alcohol and sugary drinks."

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