SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The recent hot temperatures in Savannah have reminded all of us that summer is here. While many may think they can handle the heat, Dr. Jay Goldstein from Memorial Health says know your limits.
“People have to get acclimated to this kind of heat,” said Goldstein who is an Emergency Room physician. “Don’t feel like you can beat the heat and especially when you get a little bit older. Folks when they’re 40, might be able to handle the heat a little bit better than when they’re 50.”
Goldstein says the people who often assume they can tolerate the heat can be the ones in trouble in terms of heat exhaustion.
“Heat exhaustion is where you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, fatigued, maybe sweating profusely. So, when you start feeling that heat exhaustion and you start feeling the elements are affecting you it is time to get into a cool place,” said Goldstein.
He says the very young and very old are most susceptible to heat exhaustion and often unaware of their symptoms.
“In young children, parents need to be aware if they see redness or excessive sweating, looking dizzy looking fatigued and the child just not looking themselves, and starting to get pale is even more of a concern,” said Goldstein.
For the most part, Dr. Goldstein says heat exhaustion can often be treated by getting the person to a cool place and making sure they get plenty of liquids. But he says heat stroke is different.
“You start getting into heat stroke when you have extremes of temperature, and a person can have altered mental status and those are things you can actually die from,” he reiterated.
Goldstein says that’s why it’s important to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and get cool before it leads to heat stroke.
Dr. Goldstein advises those who have to work outside to drink plenty of liquids and alternate between water and Gatorade. He also says to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages as well as alcoholic beverages as both can cause dehydration.
He advises people to use common sense and if you feel the heat is affecting you, get yourself to that cool place. He also says to check on older people who may not have air conditioning and try to make sure they have a fan and are using cool towels to help lower their body temperature.