Keep Your Cool: Tips for Staying Healthy in the Heat
Don't let 90-plus-degree days land you or your kids in the emergency room
Most of Northeast Ohio saw a break from 90-degree temperatures today, but meteorologists warn that the rest of the week will be a different story.
High temperatures are expected to climb back into the 90s on Wednesday and stay through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Ahuja Medical Center’s Division Chief of Emergency Medicine Jessica Goldstein Resnick said that Monday tied with a day during flu season for the busiest day of the year.
The very old and the very young are most at risk for heat-related illnesses, she said.
On hot days, many patients are treated for heat rash and dehydration, but many have chronic conditions like asthma, COPD or swelling that are intensified by the extreme heat.
Resnick offered tips to keep yourself and those close to you out of the emergency room during the heat.
For the very young: Kids are at risk because they like being outside and are not necessarily concerned with staying hydrated and cool, said Resnick.
“Water is the most efficient way to cool down someone’s body,” she said. Take the kids to the pool, or give them water guns or balloons for backyard fun.
Schedule outdoor playtime for mornings, when it’s coolest.
Take lots of water breaks. Resnick added that studies suggest kids will drink more fluids if it’s flavored – even if you just add a little juice to their water.
For the very old: Many elderly folks are on diuretics or anit-cholingerics — like Benadryl or sleep aids — which put them more at risk for heat-related illnesses. Also, elderly patients with dementia or who are handicapped may not realize that they are hot or dehydrated, said Resnick.
If you feel ill: Move to shade or air-conditioning and drink water. Resnick said that if you do not feel better after half an hour, seek medical attention. Watch for symptoms like dizziness, light-headedness or disorientation.