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Protect Yourself from Heat-Related Illnesses this Summer

As temperatures soar this summer, it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms of heat-related illnesses and to take preventative measures.

Young children, those aged 65 and older, overweight individuals and those who are ill or taking certain medications are most at risk of developing a heat-related illness.

Physicians at Atrium Health Navicent warn the community of the following heat-related illnesses:

· Heat exhaustion is a severe reaction to heat exposure. Signs include weakness, dizziness, nausea, headache and finally, collapse. The skin becomes cold and clammy while pupils dilate, and body temperature and blood pressure become lower.

· Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition, if the body is unable to cool itself. The person may become confused and lethargic, the body ceases to sweat, body temperature will rise rapidly, and seizure may occur.

To lessen your risk of developing heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

· Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· Remain hydrated by drinking water and sports drinks that replace electrolytes.

· Wear proper clothing in the heat.

· Never leave children unattended in a hot car, even for short periods of time.

“We see a significant increase in patients with heat illnesses as the heat and humidity go up during the summer. Heat exhaustion, and particularly heat stroke, can be life-threatening especially in the middle of the day,” said Dr. John Wood, Medical Director of the Emergency Center at Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center. “If you have to work outside try to work early in the morning or late in the afternoon and be sure to drink plenty of water. Take breaks often and cool off in the shade or an air-conditioned space. Heat-related illnesses can be dangerous, but can be avoided with proper planning and safety measures.”

Seek medical care if you experience early symptoms including cold, pale or clammy skin, nausea, vomiting, weakness or headache.

For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Atrium Health Navicent offers emergency care at the following locations:

· Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center, Navicent Health (770 Pine Street, Macon)

· Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital (888 Pine Street, Macon)

· Atrium Health Navicent Peach (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)

· Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (821 North Cobb Street, Milledgeville)

· Monroe County Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)

· Putnam General Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (101 Greensboro Rd., Eatonton)

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit