Experts offer heat safety tips as temperatures begin to climb

Experts offer heat safety tips as temperatures begin to climb

BULLOCH CO, Ga. (WTOC) -People who work outside in the sunshine and heat of summer say hats and shades are a must this time of year. With temperatures threatening to reach 100 before we even get out of May, many worry what the summer will hold.

James Edwards checks irrigation and landscapes all over town. He’s felt the days get hotter lately and pays attention to the forecast and plans for the heat.

“You really have to once you get into the 90′s,” said Edwards. “You say you get used to it, acclimated to it, but you never get totally used to it.”

He says the heat dictates almost everything about his day - from wearing shorts and breathable UVA blocking shirts to leaving his truck running on short jobs to keep the cab cooler when he needs a place to escape the sun. He’s been doing this 26 years and has seen coworkers suffer heat stroke or heat exhaustion because they ignored symptoms like headaches or dizziness and didn’t handle it before it got worse.

“You have to take some time, you have to pace yourself, find some shade sometimes,” said Edwards. “Keep plenty of water. That’s the biggest thing, stay hydrated.”

He’s glad he’s at least got a spray of fresh water nearby all the time.

James says this time of year means you have to know when to work harder and when to work smarter.

With school getting out and many people going on vacation soon, doctors are sending a warning about what you need to do to prepare.

Doctors at Memorial Health say dehydration and other heat illnesses are very dangerous. Doctor Goldstein says the number one thing you can do to fight the heat is to make sure you stay hydrated.

We always hear about drinking water but doctors say that isn’t enough. We need to make sure we drink electrolytes, like pedialite for children or gatorade for adults. While water is very important, something with electrolytes can help even more. Doctors also advise drinking plenty of fluids before and while you are out in the heat.

He says anytime you feel dizzy or light headed you need to go immediately inside to cool your body temperature. It’s also important you check your medication and make sure those won’t cause problems if you go out in the heat.

“Usually cardiac, cardiovascular, hypertension medicine, things that are diuretics or make you lose fluids," said Dr. Jay Goldstein. "The other thing is sometimes people are taking weigh loss medicines or medicines that get your body going a little bit. Those things can also cause a problem also.”

Doctors say if you notice your symptoms getting worse once you get inside, you may want to go get checked out in the emergency room.

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