High temperatures mean increase in heat-related illnesses as people head outdoors

High temperatures means increase in heat-related illnesses as people head outdoors

ATLANTA — Sunshine and warm temperatures are inviting, considering all the time we’ve spent indoors during quarantine.

However, heat can make for dangerous conditions if you’re not used to it.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon spoke to a metro doctor about the warning signs of heat-related illnesses for those heading outdoors to exercise.

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Dr. William Broyles said one of the most important things you can do is know the conditions outdoors and know your body.

Broyles is a primary care physician with WellStar Urgent Care.

“Heat exhaustion is generally a fever that’s less than 103 degrees,” Broyles said. “Your skin is moist or pale and you don’t have mental status change. You may feel weak or dizzy.”

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When someone’s core temperature reaches 103 degrees or more, they have fainted or are not making sense when speaking, it could be heat stroke and they need to get to a doctor.

Broyles says that heat stroke is a medical emergency that leads a person’s skin to become hot and dry, and causes them to not sweat like they normally would.

Exercising outdoors should be done early in the day or late in the evening if possible.

Stay hydrated with water for short durations. If working for extended periods, choose water and sports drinks. Limit caffeine, alcohol and drinks containing sugar.

Know the signs of heat stroke and listen to your body.

Broyles says if you experience symptoms of overheating, find shade, wet yourself down if you can in a pool, and hydrate. Use ice packs on the neck, underarms or between legs.

People experiencing vomiting or heat stroke symptoms need to seek medical attention immediately.

Broyles said wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19 will increase body temperature and could lead to heat exhaustion faster, but is the right thing to do. He said you should take that into consideration and modify workouts or take more breaks.

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