Safety tips for dealing with intense heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Safety tips for dealing with intense heat

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Once again, eastern Iowans were met with hotter than usual temperatures today following the scorching holiday weekend. One local doctor says it's important that people take heat safety seriously.

It's been a busy few days at Mercy Iowa City with temperatures once again reaching the 90's on Tuesday.

"We're starting to see the heat-related cases come in as the long weekend has progressed," Mercy doctor, Daniel T. Wing, said. Wing is an emergency room physician at the hospital.

Wing said, when it comes to being outside in intense heat, there are a few simple tips people can follow.

"Slow down a little. Make sure you're in the shade if you can. Wear light, or light-colored clothing, that isn't very thick," he said.

Wing said it's also important to stay hydrated. He says there are too many variants to consider, so there's no magic number as to how much water to drink. Instead, he said people should drink more than they think they need to.

"You want to keep drinking until you're urinating frequently and the urine is a very slight yellow," he said.

For those starting to feel the affects of the heat, Wing said there are easy symptoms to spot.

"We tend to talk about the "umbles"; stumbles, grumbles, fumbles, or mumbles. People are starting to get a little more irritated than normal, starting to be a little less coordinated, being a little grouchy and just not themselves, are some of the first warning signs of a heat illness," he said.

That can lead to things like heat syncope, heat exhaustion or, worse, heat stroke.  According to Wing, one symptom of heat stroke to look for is an individual that has become confused.

"Once you start having confusion, that's a true 911 medical emergency that you need to be seen immediately for," he said.

When dealing with the heat, it's also important to take special precaution with children and the elderly, Wing said.  Children that are overexposed to the heat, may appear flushed in the face. Wing said they'll also start to get agitated and may not want to eat or drink.

"When they are just kind of listless and just want to sit and lie, or sit on your lap and not do anything. That becomes even more concerning. Children will run and run and run until they stop," he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems.  Wing suggests people actively check in on their elderly neighbors, friends or family to ensure that they have a working air-conditioning unit, and are using it properly.

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