Preparing for a hot summer

Published 7:16 pm Monday, May 29, 2017

Young children, older adults most vulnerable

LaGRANGE – As the unofficial start of summer kicked off this weekend, more people will continue to enjoy outdoor activities.

But the rising temperatures and humidity can cause problems for folks not prepared to work through the heat.

“If the temperature hits 90 degrees or more, that’s when people start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion,” said Dr. Van Millin, a doctor at the Emory at LaGrange clinic off Smith Street who practices family medicine. “People over the age of 65 and very young children, their bodies can’t adjust to changes in temperatures easily.”

Heat exhaustion can come on quickly leaving people with symptoms such as: headache, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, excessive sweating and more.

People start to lose electrolytes, which can be dangerous.

“Electrolytes are things like sodium and potassium, Millin said. “They help with the wiring system in the body … that helps organs work right.”

Preparing for the heat can prevent heat stroke.

“It’s a super idea to hydrate and drink water or a sports drink even when you’re not thirsty,” Millin said. “Drink before you go to an outdoor game or go mow the lawn.”

Stay away from alcohol and caffeine, he added.

Dr. Millin also suggests wearing loose clothing and a hat to protect yourself from the sun and stay cool.

If a home is not equipped with air conditioning, go somewhere cool, like the mall, or take a cool bath or shower, Millin said.

Avoid exercising or performing outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, he added.

“You need to use common sense and be vigilant,” Dr. Millin said. “Don’t let your children get too wrapped up in a game. Be sure to check on them and see if they’re flushed. Also, don’t forget to check on the elderly too.”

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.