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Experts offer tips to stay safe in the summer heat

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

HAZARD, Ky. Summer began relatively cool in Eastern Kentucky, but now the heat is finally here.

Swings at the Perry County Park hang un-swung. Most days, children would be playing, but with temperatures forecast into the upper 80s and lower 90s this week, it's just too hot.

"When you get that hot, you always put yourself in danger, especially if you're going to be outside for a long amount of time," said WYMT's Brandon Robinson. "You want to make sure that you stay hydrated. You make sure that if you're out playing in the pool you want to put the sunscreen on and reapply often."

Children, the elderly, and pets are especially at risk. The high temperatures pose special risks to those who work outside, including firefighters.

"We have a problem if we have a house fire or something of that nature," said Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy. "We're going to get the extreme heats anyway. The outside temperature makes it even worse."

There are two main heat-related illnesses doctors talk about. Heat exhaustion which is pretty much what it sounds like, and heat stroke which is a whole lot worse.

"Your temperature spikes really high. You actually look like you've had a stroke," said Dr. Mitchell Wicker of the Hazard Clinic. "You become in some cases unresponsive and can have some severe illnesses: kidney failure, heart failure."

Doctors say you should call 911 if you suspect heat stroke. By following some common-sense steps, you can keep your family safe in the summer swelter.

Doctors also advise limiting outside activities to the early morning and later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.

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