How to stay safe in extreme heat

More than 100 million people across the country are under heat alerts, and starting Thursday, we could see another spike in our temperatures.

We’re sharing what you can do to beat the heat.

The heat is back — with the temperatures rising it’s necessary to understand ways to stay safe outside.

“Heat can really creep up on you, you need to make sure you’re planning your activities that you’re gonna do outside in the less hot parts of the day,” said Ottilia Lewis, trauma outreach coordinator at Carilion. “Earlier in the day or later in the evening. to avoid that middle of the day high heat.”

As outside school activities come into play, staying hydrated is number one on the list.

“Water is going to hydrate you the best but as you sweat you are also losing electrolytes like salt, potassium, etc.,” Lewis said. “You’re going to want to make sure that every so often you’re drinking a sports drink or something that has electrolytes in it to help replenish those as well.”

Heat affects everyone — but younger kids and elderly adults are at more of a risk than others.

“Children, they don’t have a lot of reserve within their body so they’ll be affected by the heat quicker and it will take them longer to recover,” Lewis said.

Carillion says they have a supply of fluids ready for people needing medical attention due to heat exhaustion and dehydration — but we are told if you don’t need medical attention and feel these symptoms — a cool shower is what they recommend.

“We do see a large amount of people affected by the heat each summer coming in with that heat stroke heat exhaustion and dehydration,” Lewis said.

Health experts say to keep a close eye on how your body feels in extreme temperatures because it can lead to other health issues.

About the Authors

Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

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