Staying safe in the heat: Symptoms of heat exhaustion

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Spending time in the sun can cause problems if you’re not careful.

News13’s Georgiaree Godfrey found out what you should keep in mind to stay safe in the heat.

With the summer season being in swing, that means more people outdoors, but it also means increased potential for heat related illnesses.

It starts with a cramp.

“Usually your larger muscles like your thighs, and from there, you’ve start to get nauseated, you may throw up, you may feel dizzy,” said Dr. Josh Skaggs, E.R. Physician, Providence Health.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s the first step in having a serious heat related illness like a heat stroke.

“Stroke, you think of in your brain or change in mental status. Usually with a stroke, you’re having an altered mental status, that’s where it’s very life threatening, where your blood pressures can drop, and your heart rate and respiratory rates can go high and cause damage to your internal organs,” said Skaggs.

So how can you enjoy the sunshine without having to take a trip to the emergency room?

“Get them out of that environment, so get them somewhere where there is plenty of shade, if they have excess clothing, try to remove excess clothing, try to cool them down with whatever water is available. By the time you get to heat stroke, your mortality rate is 20-60 percent,” Skaggs also said.

The key thing doctors want to remind people is to stay hydrated. Doctors say by the time you feel thirsty it may be too late.

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