Mark Mintun, an emergency medical staffer at Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City, says if you’re planning on being active and outside, you must push fluids. “It’s all about hydration,” Mintun says. “You should start in the morning when it’s still cool out. You should be drinking water, sports drinks, Pedialyte, whatever you like the best or think works the best. If you work outside, you really have to be proactive and start drinking early in the morning and drink every time you think of it.”
Without taking precautions and staying well hydrated in this heat, Mintun says you could be facing a very unpleasant road.
“Heat exhaustion, you’ll get kind of dizzy, you’ll sweat a ton, your skin will feel cool and clammy even though your body is hot,” Mintun says. “Your heart will be going fast and you’ll start to get some muscle cramps. Heat stroke, things get a lot worse. You’ll get a severe headache, you don’t sweat any more, again a fast heart rate and you’ll feel very faint. You may even pass out.”
If you don’t pay attention to the warning signs, Mintun says your condition can quickly go from bad to worse. “Heat exhaustion can transition very rapidly to heat stroke,” Mintun says. “Once you start getting cramps and sweating bad and just feeling overall horrible, you have to get to a cool area, you have to hydrate. If that’s not working, you’re probably going to have to seek emergency medical attention.” Other tips for beating the heat include: wear plenty of sunscreen, wear light-colored, light-weight clothing — and a hat — and take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Keep up with the latest forecast at weather.gov.
(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this report.)