Heat Poses Dangers to People, Animals - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/27/05

Heat Poses Dangers to People, Animals

The high temperatures we've been having aren't unhealthy just for people, but animals as well. It's almost too hot for the horses of Savannah tour companies to be outside. In heat like, this tour companies must take extra care to keep their animals cool.

"We take the horses' temperature after every tour and we determine on their respiration and their temperature too," said Lindsay Downing with Plantation Tours.

One company helped keep its horses cool by hosing them off, others made sure they wrapped up business by noon. And these hot temperatures are just as dangerous for people.

So how hot does it have to be before it becomes too dangerous to be outside?

*When heat index is 80 to 90 degrees, use caution. Heat fatigue is possible.
*When it's 90 to 105 degrees, you're reaching into the danger level. You can develop heat cramps and headaches if you're outside too long.
*At 105 to 130 degrees, it's extremely dangerous to even go outside. You can develop heatstroke, exhaustion and host of other problems like kidney failure.
*Anything over 130 is life-threatening.

"If people persist or don't seek treatment, it can cause long-term problems, even death," said emergency physician Dr. Jim Portzer.

He says when the temperature rises, so do the amount of patients in the ER. "One gentleman had to be admitted," Dr. Portzer said. "He was quite sick and it's pending to see how he's going to do. Is he going to end up with permanent kidney damage? We don't know, so it's tough to say."

Doctors can't say it enough, but be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drinks during days like this so you don't end up getting sick.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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