Staying Safe in the Heat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/01/06

Staying Safe in the Heat

If you've been outside today, you know it's been hot. But today's not the first scorcher of the summer. WTOC was out in today's heat, checking in with the workers who have been battling these blazing temperatures for a while.

Whether it's outside working, or playing, the heat is taking its toll on everyone. Doctors at Savannah's Memorial Health are seeing their fair share of people who spent too much time under the hot sun.

"We have a lot of people who feel thirsty, feeling hot, feeling dizzy, and they continue to work through it, and that's when you get in trouble," said Dr. Jay Goldstein.

As the emergency room director, Dr. Goldstein says the best thing people can do is limit their outdoor activities and stay in the shade. But that's not an option for some.

The majority of the people going to the ER for heat exhaustion are construction workers, so they're taking the necessary measures to stay out of the emergency room.

"Lots of fluids," was construction worker Richard Baker's advice. He is one of those who stands out in the heat all day. He says for him, dealing with the heat is a case of mind over matter.

"As long as you're working, you don't really feel it, but when you stop and think about it, it's hot," he said.

For some, it's hard not to think about the heat. DeWayne Jones spends his afternoons parking cars in downtown Savannah. He says sometimes the heat is just unbearable.

"The sun penetrates the mind," he said. "Sometimes you have to let yourself know it's just the heat and stay focused."

And staying focused and cool is what everyone's trying to do until the summer heat fades away.

Dr. Goldstein also says parents and pet owners should not leave their children or pets in vehicles, even for just a very short time. He says he has treated a number of children for heat exhaustion who were left alone for just a few minutes.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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