Expert tips to beat the summer heat

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Those who live in South Mississippi are aware of just how hot it can get here in the summer, but each year emergency rooms all over the Coast see hundreds, if not thousands, of patients with heat exhaustion symptoms.

"Generally the patients come in with body aches. They are nauseated, they feel weak. Some of them have fainted or felt like they were going to faint," said Dr. Stephen Nunemacher.

Nunemacher works in the emergency room at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. He says the summer temperatures can be deadly, especially if you are very active outdoors and not staying hydrated.

"When you're out in the heat, you're losing a lot of fluids. You don't feel them going out of your body, but if you wait until you're thirsty, you're already behind," said Nunemacher.

Many people exercise outdoors here on the Coast, and when temperatures get this hot, Nunemacher suggests trying to tailor your exercise routine to the coolest times of the day, like before 8 a.m. and after 7 p.m.

If you are running, and find yourself with heat exhaustion symptoms, here's what to do.

"First thing you stop, obviously. The body creates more heat the more active you are, so you stop making heat by walking and resting. Then immediately you're looking for a place where it's cooler and a place where you can get hydrated," said Nunemacher.

Jennifer Duncan is a Registered Nurse at Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport. She says the biggest thing is to pay attention to the signs.

"If you're starting to get too hot, too overheated, too sweaty, you're having some cramping or things like that, you need to get in some cool shade," said Duncan.

Duncan suggests being proactive if you plan to be outside.

"Get lots of fluids in the night before (you're going to be outside), the day of, drink throughout the day," said Duncan.

Both medical professionals agree that you can never be too hydrated, and as hotter days approach, take heat advisories seriously so you don't end up in the ER.

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