The combination of high heat and high humidity can be quite dangerous according to Floyd Valley Hospital trauma coordinator Mary Jo Clark. Clark says even with the humidity, the heat will still pull fluid from your body.
Clark says you should wear loose fitting, and lighter colored clothes for additional comfort during hot days. She suggests you stay hydrated with water or sport drinks, but stay away from the soda drinks.
“No, soda pop is not recommended. The sugar in the soda pop pulls (water) out or your body, and actually it is what we call a diuretic. You notice when you drink a pop, about a half hour later you probably are going to go to the bathroom. Even a diet pop is a diuretic and is not recommended,” Clark explains.
The hospital has already had a number of heat exhaustion cases this summer. “Some of the signs of that are dizziness, being tired, you’re feeling maybe a little faint, you’ve got a slight headache. You skin’s gonna get kind of pale and clammy, your heart’s going to pick up, be a little bit more rapid. Your breathing is also going to pick up and you may notice muscle cramps and intense thirst,” according to Clark.
The next step after heat exhaustion is heat stroke. “And heat stroke is not good, because the skin now gets hot and dry, it has no more fluids to give out. You’re going to stop sweating, your body is going to heat up, your heart is going to beat faster, you’re going to get kind of confused and you could lose your consciousness,” Clark says.
Often times a person with heat exhaustion may notice it more on the second day when that person feels nauseous and has flu-like symptoms.
By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars