Heat and Its Dangers

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

For paramedics with Metro Ambulance, early June means more than summer fun. It means an increase of heat-related emergency calls.

"We have a big problem here, a big incidence of sporting events, people doing yard work, chores outside," said paramedic Barry Mason of Metro Ambulance Service.

And simple outdoor activities can easily move from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.

"The worst will be a heat stroke where people actually get so hot they stop sweating and actually show signs of a stroke and actually have permanent damage," said Mason.

But this isn't stopping a group of cousins from enjoying Bonita Lakes Park. Their grandmother is sitting nearby watching in case the good time takes a turn for the dangerous.

"They are coming back and forth, drinking plenty of water or Coke, or Dr. Pepper, something cold," said Judy McInnis. "And if they get tired, they come over here and rest. And as you see, there is a breeze."

Another heat-related concern with the extreme heat moving in are the many elderly people in the area who don't have air conditioning. Paramedics say you should watch for signs of memory loss or confusion.

"It happens before we know it," said Mason. "At some point, your body loses response to heat. You also stop feeling it. So a person may not know they are getting hotter."

The Centers for Disease Control advises people to drink lots of fluids, but avoid beverages that are high in alcohol or sugar, because they cause you to lose fluids. Also, you should wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.

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