SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With dangerously hot conditions continuing throughout Northwest Arkansas, it’s important to stay hydrated and know what to do if the weather becomes overwhelming. Northwest Health offers some tips on how you can stay healthy and safe.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), heat exhaustion and heat stroke can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage, and death.

People ages 65 and older are one of the at-risk groups for heat exhaustion and heat stroke and should be especially careful on hot days. The NSC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these tips:

  • Spend short amounts of time outside so your body adjusts to the heat
  • Drink fluids, even before getting thirsty and avoid alcohol
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat
  • Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks
  • Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself
  • Pace yourself when you exert your body
  • Take time to rest and cool down – air conditioning is best

“Heat and humidity can be a dangerous combination for seniors,” said Dr. Maria Judit, geriatrician at Northwest Medical Plaza – Springdale. “If you already have health conditions, they can create more issues on a hot day. If you’re spending time outdoors, remember to put on sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water with you.”

She also says to keep up with the local weather forecast and be aware of days when the humidity or temperature is high. The NWA Weather Authority team works hard every day to make sure you know what to prepare for each day.

If you have concerns about your health, speak with your provider. If you need help finding a primary care provider, call (833) 757- 9355 (WELL) or visit NW-Physicians.com where you can schedule your appointment online with a Northwest Health provider.