Medical experts share heat health tips

Medical experts say our bodies may not be able to keep up with drastic weather changes.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:56 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - While Mother Nature seems to be able to flip a switch, going from cooler temperatures last week to near 90s this week, medical experts said our bodies may not be able to keep up.

“It’s that time of year, and Mother Nature has not given us a lot of opportunity to adjust to the temperatures at all this year. So, what we could handle, we might not be able to handle now,” said Laura Walker, the injury prevention and trauma education outreach specialist at Covenant HealthCare.

Walker said we should all be vigilant during these hot days.

“There’s heat cramps, there’s heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. And obviously, any of them can be hard on a person,” Walker said.

She said there are warning signs we should all be on the lookout for.

“Usually, you start out by sweating a lot. You can feel like you’re going to faint. You can feel dizzy. You can have cramping,” Walker explained. “When people start having changes in their behavior, that is an urgent sign that something is going on, that they’re getting too overheated. And then once they lose the ability to sweat...”

Walker said that’s when there’s a true medical emergency.

She said limiting your time outside and drinking fluids like water, coffee, or tea throughout the day are your best defense against falling victim to the heat.

“An average woman should have about 11 and a half cups of fluid a day. And a man, about 15 and a half cups of fluid a day,” she said.

Walker said alcoholic or sugary drinks don’t count.

She said if we all exercise caution, we can stay cool even when temperatures are not.

“Get yourself out of the element, get a fan, enjoy this nice sunny day,” Walker said.

Walker said it’s also important to look out for children and animals in hot cars.

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