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Doctors give extreme heat precautions, tips to stay cool

With temperatures rising over 100 degrees going into the weekend, local physicians say that dangers from excessive heat should not be taken lightly. (File Photo)

With temperatures rising over 100 degrees going into the weekend, local physicians say that dangers from excessive heat should not be taken lightly.

Dr. David Haacke, a physician at Neighbors Emergency Center in Amarillo, tells ABC 7 News that heat exhaustion symptoms happen once your body starts to overheat, ranging from feeling tired all of a sudden and becoming nauseous and light headed.

If you do think you are experiencing this after being out in the heat for a period of time, officials recommend stopping all activity, moving to a cooler place, drinking water and seeking medical help if symptoms worsen or last more than one hour.

However, there are a few precautions that citizens can take during extreme heat. This includes:

  • Staying hydrated - eight glasses of water daily is the recommended amount
  • Limit alcohol intake and beverages high in caffeine
  • Wear light-colored and light-weight clothing
  • Find shade when available
  • Protect face with a wide-brimmed hat
  • Avoid heavy outdoor activity from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Pay attention to your body - realize when you start to feel sick and move indoors
  • Wear sunscreen

"Stay out of the heat as much as you can," said Haacke. "You know, sometimes you can't help it. Sometimes you have to work, sometimes it's something you had planned and you're going to be out in the heat. If you do have to be outside, try to be in the shade, try to be out of the direct sun, use a wide-brim hat, you know, anything like this can kind of keep you a little cooler."

Haacke said it is also important to think about your neighbors during days of extreme heat, especially your elderly neighbors.

"The real problem when the high temperatures come in is you never know your neighbors living conditions," Haacke said. "Maybe their air conditioning [unit is] not working or their house is hot and they are having struggles. A lot of elderly people get put on medications that make their body have a hard time handling heat and they may be on medications for their heart that don't allow them to maintain the same type of hydration."

Haacke wants to remind citizens that prevention is key. Even though it is hot outside, he tells ABC 7 News that this does not mean you have to avoid going outside overall. He says this just means you have to take a few extra precautions to make sure you keep yourself and others safe.

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