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Ways to prevent summer heat-related illnesses

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As pre-season kicks off for athletes and band camp, summer is winding down. But those temperatures are heating up.

On Friday, Alexis Fugitt took her children to the splash pad to cool down.

“We’re all friends from church who decided to get the kids out of the house and cooled down,” Fugitt said.

Cabell County paramedic David McClure said, “on average, one unit responds to anywhere from 5 to 10 calls for heat-related illnesses per summer. If you multiply that by 13 crews on the road, it adds up.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, more than 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year in the United States -- more than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, lightning, or any other weather event.

“If you find yourself getting light-headed, fatigued, if you start feeling nauseous or vomiting, those are key signs you need to get back into the air conditioning,” McClure said.

He recommends parents check in with their children several times an hour when playing outside. If your child begins to show any heat-related symptoms, you’re advised to get them someplace cool as quickly as possible.

“Get them out of the environment and get them in the shade. Get the ice pack. Put it under the armpits and then on the back of the neck,” McClure said.

He also reminds people to swap out sugary drinks for water.

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