How to stay safe in the summer heat

JOPLIN & WEBB CITY, Mo. –As soon as you take a step outside, it’s clear that summer is here.

While the heat can lead to fun summer activities such as time at the pool, too much exposure can be risky, even dangerous.

“You can start feeling symptoms within an hour, in the greater than ninety-degree heat,  with the high humidity, you can start feeling symptoms of light-headedness, and dizzy and things like that inside of an hour,” said Dr. Douglas Mcdonald, an emergency room doctor at Freeman Hospital.   

Among all the illnesses that can come from the heat, avoiding dehydration is key.

“We can see heat-related injuries such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, again from people not staying hydrated, temperatures greater than ninety degrees, and humidity levels being at what they are at ninety degrees, your much more likely to dehydrate really quickly because you’re sweating a lot, not realizing how much fluid you are losing,” Mcdonald said. 

One local mom who took her kids to the splash pad in Webb city to cool down has seen the negative effects of the heat on her own kids.

“This summer, one of my children…it had just started turning warm, he wore a tank top and it was like one of the first days it got warm…he was outside for way too long. and he ended up actually getting scars on his shoulder from his sunburn, his sunburn lasted for about a week and a half and it was terrible.”

Doctor McDonald, says sunburns can cause more pain than just discomfort.

“Sunburns can cause you elevated body temperature which can give you fever-like symptoms, they can actually progress to the second degree, where the skin is blistering”

While it’s great to enjoy the sun now that it’s more prevalent, it’s important to do so in moderation.