ROANOKE – Father’s Day weekend is going to be a hot one. The region will be dealing with the hottest temperatures of the season with temperatures in the 90's plus humidity. For many, this weekend might be the first out in the heat.
Carilion trauma outreach coordinator Sarah Beth Dinwiddie said there are signs someone may be struggling.
“If they are sweating a lot and then all of a sudden they stop sweating, that's a huge sign that they are having troubles,” Dinwiddie said. If that happens, Dinwiddie said that means a person is dehydrated and their body is unable to regulate their temperature and should seek immediate medical treatment.
While everyone deals with the heat differently, Dinwiddie said that people who often work in an office or are not conditioned to extreme heat should avoid overextending their time in the sun this weekend. She says they often see an uptick in the emergency room during extreme heat because of heat related illnesses. Fainting, nausea and vomiting are often signs that someone is overheating.
Dehydration, sunburn and overheating are just a few of the concerns. Dinwiddie said there are tips to keep in mind in order to have a safe weekend outdoors that takes only minor preparation.
- Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.
- Wear long sleeves to protect skin from the sun. If long sleeves or pants get too hot, soak them in water. UV protective clothing is also available.
- Wear hats or scarves as well as UV sunglasses to shield your face from the sun.
- Wear sunscreen. Reapply every few hours, especially when swimming.
- Don't overextend your time in the sun or heat. Seek shade or air conditioning whenever possible.
- Monitor the elderly or small children. Dinwiddie said they are the most susceptible to heat and often have the most trouble regulating their body temperature. Children should not be left in strollers too long, especially if the stroller is black or another dark color which absorbs heat.
- If children refuse to drink enough water, offer popsicles or frozen icees as an alternative to help replenish lost fluids.
- Drink plenty of fluids. In addition to water, drink fluids that contain electrolytes which helps prevent dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol speeds up the dehydration process.
- Always wear a life jacket when swimming in a pool, lake, river or stream. Pool flotation devices are no substitution for a life vest.