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Doctors give tips on avoiding heat-related injuries

Published On: Jul 16 2013 04:55:21 PM CDT
AVOIDING HEAT RELATED INJURIES
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

It finally feels like July-- the sun is out and it's getting hotter.

Unfortunately with the heat comes heat-related injuries like dehydration. We spoke with local doctors on Tuesday to learn more about the risks and symptoms.

We learned children and the elderly are most at risk for dehydration. But if you're active and healthy, you still need to be careful.

A scorching sun is Terry King's office; he's painting buildings on the infield at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I would rather have this though than the rain," said King.

When it's this hot King says he does all he can so he won't get dehydrated. "I'm drinking a little bit here and there, maybe two to three bottles of water every couple hours," he explained.

With heat and humidity in the forecast, doctors at Bristol Regional Medical Center are warning people about the possibility of heat-related injuries. "It can happen very quickly if you're not careful," said Dr. Bruce Gibbon.

Heat exhaustion and dehydration are the most common problems. If you plan on spending time outside there are the classic symptoms you need to watch for. "Headache, nausea, lightheaded, dizzy when you stand up. If you begin to not sweat that's a sign of late dehydration. You're starting to get into trouble," added Dr. Gibbon.

Dr. Gibbon says by the time you feel thirsty, it's a sign you're behind on water. "A good rule of thumb is if you're outside working in the heat and you're sweating a lot you should drink a liter of water every hour," he added.

The first step of recovery is taking yourself out of the heat, find a shady spot. But don't drink caffeinated or sugary drinks -- both pull water out of your system.

Back at the Speedway, King says he hopes this weather lasts. "Maybe not quite as hot. But more sun," added King.

Doctors suggest if your symptoms get worse seek medical attention at the hospital. That's because symptoms can often lead to heat stroke, which can be deadly.