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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.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island to a military family, Kevin Boucher traveled the country and the world at a young age before his family settled in Murphysboro, Illinois in 1976. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and worked in commercial radio before becoming the Traffic Manager at WSIU Public Television. Boucher has since earned a Master's degree in Professional Media & Media Management Studies from SIU's College of Mass Communication & Media Arts. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys gardening and exploring the flora and fauna of the Shawnee National Forest and other beautiful natural areas across southern Illinois. Kevin is embarking on a new path with WSIU as the Community Engagement Producer for WSIU Radio. Look for Kevin's work on air and on line.
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