Tips for recognizing, preventing heat-related illness

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — As we get closer to Fall, it might be easy to forget we still have to take summer weather precautions. The past month has been filled with record-breaking temperatures, and the heat isn’t gone yet.

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s easy to protect yourself from heat-related illnesses.

“Seek shade or stay inside, avoid layering,” said CRNP Rebecca Allen-Jones. “Sweatshirts, sweatpants would not be a good idea to wear at the time. Try to limit your activities to times when it is cooler.”

The bad news is it’s also easy to forget that advice when having fun outside.

“Heat-related illnesses just happen so quickly,” Allen-Jones said. “The biggest thing is going to be staying away from those things that can dehydrate you that college students tend to like. Caffeine and alcohol because those things are going to encourage you to pee and if you’re not replacing those fluids, then you will dehydrate quickly.”

That’s why Jones says it’s important to not only protect yourself but others too.

“Keep in mind that children and animals are not going to be able to tell you that they’re hot so those are our special populations. We need to make sure that we protect them. That we give them plenty of fluid. You may start to notice that they are not making as much sweat as they should because they’re dehydrated. They may be confused, they may have dry skin, or they may collapse. Get them to a shaded area after you make sure that they’re safe otherwise and call 9-1-1.”

To learn more about heat-related illnesses and prevention tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website here.