Raven Guillory leaps into the Westlake Recreation Center's outdoor pool on Thursday. The public pool is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Mondays nad 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Jerren Benoit stays cool while playing with friends at the Westlake Rec Center pool on Thursday. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, June 23, 2012 9:02 PM
Temperatures are expected to approach triple digits in the coming days. The high temperatures and dry conditions have the potential to create health problems.
“Our current forecast for Monday and Tuesday has the high for both days at around 95 and 96, with the Sunday weather fairly close to that,” said Robert Deal, meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
“We will be having high pressure moving into the area with light winds and not much in the way of showers. That will allow a massive amount of heating. Some models say the temperature could reach triple digits. The high pressure is expected to sit over the area for most of the early part of next week, with temperatures to start coming down Wednesday. High temperatures will still be well into the 90s. We do not forecast a max temperature of less than 92 degrees in the next eight days.”
Dr. Abhishek Agarwai of the Memorial Medical Group said hydration will be the key to avoiding heat-related health problems.
“The most important thing is to drink water throughout the day,” Agarwai said.
“Carry a water bottle, even while you are at home, to avoid dehydration. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes are also good. Remember that beverages with caffeine and high amounts of sugar can worsen dehydration, so stay away from those. People on medicines like diuretics for blood pressure need to take extra precautions, such as staying indoors, preferably with air conditioning. If you only have a fan, misting cool water will help you stay cooler through evaporation.”
Agarwai said care should be taken if you have to go outdoors in the heat. “Wear loose clothes, even a light hat,” he said. “Have someone with you, even if you are working outside; have co-workers with you so you all can look out for each other.”
Agarwai said heatstroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps are the biggest concerns.
“Heatstroke occurs when your body cannot regulate its own temperature — you can’t sweat to cool down,” said Agarwai.
“Heat stroke can be fatal or cause permanent disability. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, a strong pulse, headache and dizziness. Victims may appear confused or nauseous. If heatstroke occurs, cool the victim rapidly, even if you have to use a cool tub of water. Get medical help as soon as possible. Body temperatures can go up to 104, 105 during a heatstroke. Victims need to be taken to an emergency room.
“Heat exhaustion is more common and more minor. It can happen after several days of exposure to heat or dehydration and happens a lot to the elderly. Symptoms include a lot of sweating, nausea and sometimes fainting. Help keep the victim cool and seek medical attention if heat exhaustion is suspected.
“Heat cramps happens when someone sweats a lot because of exertion, it results from losing too much salt from sweating. Symptoms include muscle pain and muscle spasms. If you get cramps, stop whatever you are doing, sit down in cool place, drink cool, clear liquids or sports drinks and do not return to the activity for several hours.”