NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — A heatwave is heading our way which means an increased risk for heat-related illnesses.
Every year on average, more than 650 people in the U.S. lose their lives to heat-related illnesses, according to the CDC but it is preventable.
If you’re out in the sun and you start to feel dizzy, confused, are experiencing muscle aches or headaches you might be experiencing a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat-related stress.
It could also be a heat stroke which is the CDC said is the most dangerous.
Northwest Medical Center, Trauma Program Director, Brendi Gale said a heatstroke happens when your body reaches higher temperatures than normal which can destroy the cells in your brain and other vital organs.
This can cause you to go into a seizure, lose consciousness, and can be deadly which is why she said to take extreme precautions outdoors on hot days.
“Avoiding foods that are high salt that can make you lose more fluid drinks that have caffeine can also make you lose more fluid, so drinking lots of water, making sure well rested and eating a good meal before going outside,” said Gale.
She recommends wearing lighter-looser clothing, sunblock and hats. Avoid going outdoors midday during heat waves. Try going out earlier in the day or after the sun goes down when it’s cooler.
Keep an eye on children, the disabled and the elderly because they’re the most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Also, check on neighbors who don’t have air conditioning especially on days when there are advisories in effect.
Remember to stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water will help get you through your day.