With blistering temperatures well in the low nineties and high eighties for the next few days, lake area residents are warned to take precautions when being in the heat.
Being out in the heat brings risks of heat-related illnesses. In order to decrease the chances of becoming ill due to the scorching temps, Melissa Hunter, R.N., nurse manager of Lake Regional Emergency Department offers tips this summer.
Hunter recommends to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. She also says to avoid alcohol and caffeine since they both can cause dehydration. Rigorous activities are to be scheduled for early or late in the day during times when temperatures are at their lowest for the day.
If residents are out in the sun and are not feeling well but unsure that it is the heat causing the illness, they need to look for symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, headache, rapid heartbeat and dehydration.
"If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention," Hunter said. "Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause heatstroke, which is more serious than heat exhaustion. Heatstroke can lead to confusion, seizure, coma and even death."
Human residents are not the only ones that need to be cautious when it comes to the summer heat. The four-legged residents also need to be taken care of so that they do not overheat.
Dogwood Animal Shelter personnel recommend making sure there is enough food, cool water and shade at all times for the pet if they are outside. Residents are not to leave their pet outside if possible. If they must, do not leave them outside for long periods of time. Pets should not be tied up outside if there is a chance they could get tangled up and unable to reach their water. Pets also should never be left in a vehicle for any reason. Pet owners should be conscious of the heat from sidewalks and roads on their paws. Dogwood personnel said that If a pet does overheat, they are to be brought inside to air conditioning as soon as possible. Put them on a cool surface such as tile and put a cool towel on their stomach/groin area to help their body temperature cool down quickly.