Tips for Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses During High Temperatures

Emergency medical professionals emphasize that even brief exposure to extreme heat can impact individuals differently.

Dr. Daniel Bachmann from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explained that symptoms of heat exhaustion can include fatigue, headache, dizziness, and vomiting. He emphasized the importance of listening to your body and following advisories, similar to how precautions are taken in cold weather.

“It’s crucial to stay hydrated,” Bachmann advised. He noted that the amount of water needed varies depending on activity levels; for instance, those working outdoors in hot conditions should drink approximately one quart of water per hour to replenish fluids lost through sweating.

However, he acknowledged the challenge of staying hydrated in humid conditions. Sweating is the body’s primary cooling mechanism, necessitating adequate fluid replacement with water or similar fluids.

In addition to affecting humans, extreme heat also poses risks to pets. Dr. Emily Stambaugh from Ohio State University’s Spectrum of Care Clinic warned pet owners to watch for signs of overheating. She recommended walking dogs on pavement during cooler morning and evening hours, while suggesting grass as a cooler alternative during midday heat.

Stambaugh stressed that even brief exposure to constant heat can cause pets to overheat. Symptoms to watch for include excessive panting, lethargy, and reduced activity indoors. Keeping water accessible at all times is crucial during hot weather to prevent dehydration in pets.

Simple measures like adding ice cubes to pets’ water bowls can help cool them down and make hydration more appealing. Stambaugh also suggested swimming as a way for pets to cool off, provided they are comfortable in water and supervised. She recommended using pet life jackets for safety.

If pets exhibit signs of heat-related distress or increased heart rate, immediate veterinary attention is advised.

Amidst rising temperatures, the City of Columbus has opened five cooling centers to provide relief for residents. These centers, located at community centers such as Dodge, Driving Park, Glennwood, Linden, and Marion Franklin, will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until temperatures subside.

To further mitigate the heat, the city has waived admission fees at municipal pools and extended operating hours from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Kenton Curtis Jr., assistant director of Columbus Recreation and Parks, emphasized preparing for potential capacity limits and advised patience during peak times.

He also assured that all staff members are trained in basic first aid to handle heat-related emergencies. For serious emergencies, Curtis urged residents to call 911 promptly.

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