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Health provider urges caution in the heat

fan blowing under a hot blue sky
Bru-nO via Pixabay
SSM Health in Mt. Vernon says in hot weather, drink plenty of water, and take frequent breaks to prevent heat-related illnesses.

The human body has a way to cool off in hot weather; it's called sweating. But, SSM Health in Mt. Vernon says when temperatures and humidity levels are high, our body's ability to get rid of excess heat can suffer.

There are three types of heat-related illnesses. Heat cramps, happen when your muscles start hurting due to depletion of water, salt and electrolytes. Heat exhaustion, which SSM says is very common, and can be identified by fatigue, heavy sweating, headache and possibly nausea and vomiting. And the third, and most severe kind of heat illness, is heat stroke, identified by red, hot and dry skin, a lack of sweating, a rapid pulse and a throbbing headache. A person suffering from heat stroke can also become unconscious.

SSM Health stresses, unless treated quickly, heat stroke can lead to death. SSM adds to avoid these health problems when out in the heat, drink plenty of water, even when you don't feel thirsty, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Kevin Boucher is a retired broadcaster. Most recently he was a news reporter for WSIU radio. He grew up watching nature programs including Mutual of Omaha’s wild kingdom and the many Jacques Cousteau specials which sparked his passion with nature. Kevin also is an avid hiker and loves seeing and writing stories about the many fascinating plants and animals we share our planet with. Kevin is married and has lived in Murphysboro since 1976, after living in many places, including Japan, as the son of a Navy officer.

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