Staying safe in the summer heat

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:58 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With hot temperatures expected again this week, Memorial Health wants to remind parents and people who work outside to stay safe when you are out there for extended periods of time.

Last week with the heat, Memorial Health had about 10 to 15 people come in for heat related illnesses - some were people spending time out on the boat or at the beach.

But the majority of patients were people who work outside that didn’t get out of the sun soon enough.

The number one heat related illness they are seeing at Memorial Health is heat exhaustion, where people get light headed and dizzy.

Doctor Jay Goldstein, a physician in the Emergency Room, says the key is to limit time in the sun and remember to stay hydrated - not just with water but a good balance of water and electrolytes in drinks like Gatorade.

“Every once and a while you have to get out of the heat and get to a cool spot, I recommend those cooling towel, you bring a cooler with some ice, you put the towel in there and every couple of minutes you pull that out and wipe your bod down and it cools it down a number of degrees and it will really keep you safe and be able to handle the elements a lot better,” Dr. Goldstein said.

He also warns to be careful when drinking alcohol outside in the heat because you might not realize you are not feeling right due to the alcohol in your system, just make sure to drink other fluids as well.

Dr. Goldstein says during the heat of the day from around 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you really shouldn’t be spending more than one hour outside in the heat if you can help it.

The City of Savannah has several pools that are open different days of the week. Daffin Park is open all week to help keep you and the kids cool.

Even though the pool and the beach are good options to help keep your body temperature down, Dr. Goldstein says you should still try to limit time outside for the kids to less than an hour during the heat of the day.

If they are outside for any length of time, make sure to keep a close eye on them and check for any signs of fatigue, tiredness, looking pale, just not acting right or not going to the bathroom as much - all of those can be signs they are experiencing heat exhaustion and might need to go to the doctor.

“Definitely be careful with your children that is essential, children just don’t know and realize what they need, they go for the drinks and they try to force the drinks, you feel like you are a little thirsty you are already behind the curb make sure you take that element and if you feel like you need a sip, take three gulps,” said Dr. Goldstein.

Throughout the week, the City Manager and Emergency Management Director will keep an eye on the temperature to decide if they will open up cooling centers in the city. They will post on their social media and we will keep you updated as well if it does happen.

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