Extreme Heat Makes Outdoor Work Challenging

By: Martha Spencer Email
By: Martha Spencer Email

The recent extreme heat and humidity is creating a challenging work environment for many. Just about everyone sweats outside on days like today, but how do you know when you should really be concerned?

Dr. Donald Angle a doctor in the Emergency Room at Southeast Alabama Medical Center says, "You become sweaty, profusely sweaty. But then if it gets worse than that you lose the ability to sweat and that’s when you’re entering into a much more dangerous process beyond heat exhaustion and into heat stroke."

"My legs started crampin' I started throwin' up, when I got to the house my wife took me straight to the hospital I couldn't handle it no more." said Donald Stacy, a construction worker for Trawick Construction.

Over the past few days, weather conditions have reached the criteria for these conditions.

"Above 95 degrees, and above 35 percent humidity, brings on this problem. and one of the key issues is sustained heat, so if the temperatures don't drop at least some point in time below eighty degrees then you're going to have the increased opportunity to have electrolyte imbalances over time and dehydration."

Which is why it is so important to take frequent breaks, and drink non-caffeinated products like water and electrolyte rich Gatorade.

"if you're not urinating, you're not drinking enough because if you're going to be urinating every six to twelve hours, that’s the minimum, you should be urinating every four to six hours and you'll be adequately hydrated."

Doctors say the most important thing to do is to listen to your body. If you're already thirsty, then you're most likely already dehydrated. Stacy says "we start at six in the morning, most of the time by eight or nine we're feeling' the heat a lot."

In the end, saving a few dollars by cutting back on the A/C may not be worth the health risks.

"I can't wait for the winter I like the wintertime." says Stacy.

In addition to staying hydrated, doctors recommend frequent application of sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.

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