Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses & Staying Safe In The Hot Temperatures

ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Near record high temperatures are predicted over the next few days, but many people are trying to take advantage of the clear skies this summer by spending time outdoors.

On a hot day, you may think that being by the water would be a great idea, but it can actually cause your body to work overtime. This is especially true if you're boating.

"It's dealing with the heat that you naturally have, and it's also dealing with waves and the move of the water," said Danielle Simmons, Education Specialist at the Janet Huckabee Nature Center. "Your body is doing twice the work and you don't even realize it."

To stay safe on the water or the land, Simmons advises people to stay hydrated by drinking water every 15 minutes, avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages, and also pay attention to what you eat.

"It's important to keep your meals light and not so heavy," Simmons said.

The clothes you wear is critical, too. Look for loose, light-colored and moisture-wicking fabrics.

If you or someone else starts showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, drinking water, apply cool cloths to your face and wrists and find shade immediately. "It's really hard on a body to go directly from being out in the heat into the air conditioning, especially if they're at that breaking point," Simmons said.

Heat exhaustion symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Excessive thirst
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Weakness
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin or a sensation of prickly skin
  • Slowed or weakened heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Agitation