Doctor warns of high heat dangers coming this weekend


Experts are saying temperatures this weekend and Monday are expected to get extremely hot.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it will be at least 105 degrees in parts of Virginia.

“We want folks to stay cool,” said Dr. Charles Devine, Health Director, Lord Fairfax District of the Virginia Department of Health.

Anywhere with air conditioning is where you’ll want to be, but, there are ways to be ok in the heat for a little while.

If you do go outside, Devine said find somewhere that’s covered by shade, keep a water bottle handy and wear light weight clothing to keep yourself cool.

It’s all pretty basic, but what might not be so clear is when you’ve done all the right things, but are still overheated.

“So there’s a progression from simply being mildly overheated to having cramps, perhaps, to having heat exhaustion, then to having heat stroke,” Devine said.

Devine said most people suffer from heat exhaustion, which isn’t usually deadly.

During the last heat wave in mid July, the Virginia Department of Health reordered and uptick in urgent care visits due to heat -related illness, and Devine said it’s important to know the signs so you can cool down and get to the doctor.

” With heat exhaustion, you’re still sweating, your skin might feel cool and clammy.  your pulse is going to be weakened and fast and you’re going to be feeling weak and maybe nauseous, and maybe you’re going to faint.”

Heat stoke happens once you stop sweating.

“You’ve really lost your ability to regulate your internal temperature, so it rises quickly to above 103.”

He said skin turns red and hot, and you might pass out.

“And death rapidly follows as our body’s core temperature continues to climb.”

Devine said heat stroke can happen when someone is left in a hot car, so he says don’t leave anyone in cars even with the windows open.

He said parents need to monitor their kids closely, because young children can’t sufficiently articulate how they feel.

He also said the elderly and children are at high risk.

“The elderly have chronic underlying diseases, perhaps, and those underlying diseases can make care to prevent heat-related illness more difficult.”

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