summer heat

Tips to Remember in the Heat, Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Stroke

Summer camps rearranging schedules due to hot weather

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As the temperature continues to rise, doctors and nursing are urging people to be mindful of the heat and listen to their bodies.

Summer camps are having to rearrange schedules to make sure students and staff aren't subjected to the hot weather.

"Our main concern and our main focus is making sure the kids are okay and we don’t want anybody to overheat or be uncomfortable," said Karla Tavarez the assistant director at Willow Montessori Academy in Dallas.

Students who are enrolled in the school's summer camp usually spend a lot of time outside in the backyard, which has a chicken coop. The school is nestled within trees, but even with the shade, it can still get very warm.

"One of our core values is nature exploration, so that is something we truly want the kids to do and explore, but right now because of the heat, we’ve had to kind of switch some things around," said Tavarez.

The kids now go out in the morning right when they arrive. They're also constantly receiving water breaks and have their bottles lined up next to a big cooler of water.

“If us adults... we can't stand five minutes outside without drinking water, the kids, of course, cant either, their bodies need it just as much as we do," said Tavarez.

Every Friday they have 'splash day' in the backyard with kiddie pools and hoses, something the students now look forward to all the time.

“They come in right away and ask, 'Ms. Karla, is it splash day? I really want to go outside, can we play with the water hose or something," explained Tavarez with a smile who said they're definitely keeping splash Fridays to help the kids cool down.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Health professionals are starting to see more heat-related illnesses in the hospital as summer starts to roll in.

“Make sure that we drink enough water and stay hydrated, especially if we know that we're going to be outside doing gardening or playing in the park with their kids going swimming, biking, all of those outdoor activities," said Linda Gosselin, a registered nurse and Trauma Program Manager at Medical City Lewisville.

She said it's important for people to allow their bodies to adjust to this weather. Gosselin suggests if people have to do activities outside, to do so in the morning or evening.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following as warning signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion.

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting (passing out)

The symptoms are pretty similar for a heat stroke and include a body temperature of 103, red hot skin and confusion.

Gosselin said there's also another major distinction.

"If you notice though, 'I'm not sweating so much anymore,' that is your cue, or even your visual cue for some of your friends or your kids like I said, even your grandparents, your times up you need to get in the cool. Get some medical treatment. Call 911, you can even go unconscious," explained Gosselin.

She said sports drinks and other fluids that have electrolytes are also helpful to consume throughout the day.

"So really even starting the day before, drinks lots of fluids to get prepared for those outdoor activities," said Gosselin.

Tips for the Heat Relief

It's important to always drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. The CDC recommends people wear light loose clothing and remain in the shade if possible. If possible, stay indoors. Also, wear sunscreen, pace yourself outside, and know the signs of heat exhaustion and stroke.

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