The heat is on! Temperatures soared into the 90's on Tuesday under strong May sunshine. Bluefield hit 90 degrees, which broke the previous record of 86 in 2007, and also prompted a lemonade day-possibly the earliest in Bluefield's history.
Temperatures topped off around 94 yesterday in Charleston and reports of around 100 kids were treated for overheating and heat exhaustion at a West Virginia Power game.
Kids are more susceptible to heat than adults because their bodies warm quicker. When temperatures get to extreme, heat exhaustion can kick in very quickly. If not treated, heat exhaustion may turn to heat stroke, which can be fatal.
According to the CDC, heat exhaustion is when the body's temperature control system is overloaded and can't cool itself quickly enough. This tends to happen when the body is exposed to extreme heat and humidity along with a lack of hydration. Some people are more at risk for heat exhaustion than others, like young children (0-4), people 65 years and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain kinds of medicine. Most medication will inform you that you are in this category.
Here are some signs of heat exhaustion to look for:
The good news is that heat exhaustion is very treatable. If you or someone you are with begin to experience these symptoms, you can do several things:
Grab a cold drink-no alcohol & preferably not sugary
Get a cool, damp cloth or just head into air conditioning (heading to the mall or library on a hot day is a good idea)
Loosen any binding clothing and shed layers if you can
Rest. Allow your body to cool down.
If you continue to experience symptoms after treatment, see a doctor.
Don't forget to check the forecast too. If temperatures are expected to climb high, there are things you can do to prevent heat exhaustion or any other heat-related illnesses.
If it's going to be a scorcher, make sure you are wearing light colors and light clothing. Grab some fluids before heading outside and don't drink alcohol. Protect yourself from the sun-apply sunscreen and maybe wear a hat or visor. Also, avoid the hot spots. Try having your lunch inside an air conditioned building instead of a parked car.