Summer safety: Protect yourself from the heat
by Shaka S. Lias
May 24, 2011 | 2166 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joe Venishel, sales and service manager for All Around Roofing and Gutters Inc. of Cartersville, removes old shingles on a home on Law Road on a hot and humid Monday afternoon. This home was damaged during the recent tornado. Those who work outside are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids and take breaks from the heat as often as possible.
DAYTON P. STRICKLAND/The Daily Tribune News
Joe Venishel, sales and service manager for All Around Roofing and Gutters Inc. of Cartersville, removes old shingles on a home on Law Road on a hot and humid Monday afternoon. This home was damaged during the recent tornado. Those who work outside are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids and take breaks from the heat as often as possible. DAYTON P. STRICKLAND/The Daily Tribune News
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Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps are all conditions to avoid as temperatures continue to rise this week. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s in Cartersville.

Director of Bartow County Emergency Medical Services Larry Owens said it's important to stay cool and avoid heat-related illness.

"Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty, especially when the temperatures and humidity is high, so you can't lose your body heat," Owens said.

Symptoms of a heat stroke occur when a person in a hot environment begins to sweat profusely and suddenly stops. The effects of a heat stroke are seizures or possibly death.

"Your body has no way of cooling off," Owens said.

He said EMS doesn't treat a lot of heat stroke patients. However, in July and August, the department sees an increase in heat cramp patients.

When people experience heat cramps, they sweat and experience cramps.

Owens said it's best to get out of the heat and drink plenty of fluids.

During the summer season, he suggests staying away from alcohol and caffeine. Both are diuretic and cause the body to lose water.

"It's OK to drink Powerade and Gatorade," Owens said. "But water is the best bet -- it hydrates better than any of them."

Owens also warns of the dangers of a closed vehicle. "It gets very hot quickly inside a sealed car, at least 120 degrees."

For outdoor activities, Owens suggests wearing sunscreen, even if you are of dark complexion. "Blacks can get sunburned just like whites," he said.

Owens said although it's cloudy, sun rays still come through.

Another way to stay cool is to wear lighter-colored clothing.

"Clothes lighter in color reflect heat better," Owens said. "The darker the fabric, the more heat it absorbs."