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Protecting yourself during the summer heat

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- Summer is here and we've been seeing some pretty hot and humid days in Siouxland. But, it's important to remember those tips on how to stay safe in the heat.

"Get out of that sun environment, drink some water, drink some Gatorade, and take a break," said Kevin Handke, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

We hear it every year when summer rolls around: be careful out in the heat. Many know how dangerous it can be, but do you know what to look for? Let's start with heat exhaustion.

"Dizziness, the lightheadedness, those are early signs with that," said Handke.

Handke said people experiencing heat exhaustion may notice cramps, but the longer your body overheats, the worse your condition will get. One of the biggest things to look out for is if you stop sweating.

"If you get to those phases where you actually quit sweating, have those severe signs of shock, that is actually a medical emergency, need to call 911, or if someone is with you call 911 to get you to the hospital," said Handke. "These people are going to have temperatures 104-105 and that can really affect us really bad."

One of his biggest pieces of advice: hydrate the day before.

One of the things he said you can do if you're out and about in the sun a lot and you don't have time to step into the shade, set an alarm on your phone. That will remind you every few hours to stop and hydrate once again.

So how much water should you drink?

"Something to gauge it on is if you don't have that frequency to go to the bathroom, keep drinking," said Handke. "If you are out in this heat, sweating a lot, you're going to lose a lot. So you need to put more in. So that could vary. Someone could be up over 100 ounces a day."

Handke said to stray away from ice-cold water because that's not good for your body. He said to stick with room temperature water or Gatorade,.

As the 4th of July holiday gets closer, Handke said it's important to remember to hydrate if you are out on the water and replenish with electrologists.

Michaela Feldmann

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