Beating the heat: Dangerously high temperatures prompt reminders on keeping cool

kids in heat.png
kids in heat.png

Tuesday is expected to be the hottest day of the year. With the high temperatures comes the threat of dangerous conditions.

You can get sick in the heat if you are not careful.

Eric Collins got a good workout in before the sun came up Tuesday morning.

"I like to stay out of the sun when possible,” Collins said.

That is a good idea. The blazing sun will make it feel like triple digits.

"Electrolytes are really important and just always carrying a huge waterbottle with me at all times, said Jessica Armstrong, who jogs on the Walking Bridge in downtown Chattanooga every morning.

"Drink a lot of water,” Collins said. "Make sure you have food in your system.”

Those are good tips if you're going to be in the heat.

They are also ways to avoid getting sick, like experiencing heat exhaustion or stroke.

Nurse Practitioner Rachel Vedder suggests taking breaks in the shade or air conditioning at least once an hour.

“That will help get your heart rate down and help cool you off, too,” she said.

If not, you can suffer heat exhaustion.

Main symptoms are extreme sweating, weakness, muscle cramps along with nausea and vomiting.

That is when you need to cool down with ice packs or water. Pets need the same thing.

“If I'm out an extended period of time, an hour or two, I'll carry a travel bowl to pour my water in,” Armstrong said.

All of that so you do not upgrade to a heat stroke, which can be deadly.

Signs include no sweating, pale complexion and dangerously high body temperature, reaching as high as 105 degrees.

“Your brain is not able to function under that amount of heat, which then leads to not being able to breathe, etc.,” Vedder said.

Be smart while you are exposed to the high temperatures. Use caution.

"If you start seeing starry eyes, sit down,” Collins said. Don't try to be a hero.”

The dangerous heat may alter some after school activities. According to the TSSAA, schools must cancel outdoor sports practices if the heat index is above 104. It is a similar rule in Georgia. No outdoor sessions are allowed if the heat index reaches between 104 and 105 degrees.

According to the National Weather Service, about 175 people in the United States die every year from a heat-related illness.