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MU Health Care doctor shares heat safety


With the heat indices expected to reach triple digits this weekend, an MU Health Care doctor says it's important to be prepared to cool yourself and your loved ones down.

According to the Stormtrack Weather Team, between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday is expected to be the hottest of this stretch before rain and storms give us a break on Monday.

"I think in mid-Missouri with the temperatures getting up into the mid-90s as well as humidity being in the upper 80s, I don't think the shade will be cool enough after you've been out in the sun that long," said Chris Wilhelm, an MU Health Care doctor.

According to the CDC, approximately 700 Americans die each year due to the summer heat.

Wilhelm says when it's that hot, a heat stroke can happen in minutes if you're not careful.

He says if you're going to be in the sun with the family this weekend make sure you have some water and electrolytes with you.

"So when you're dehydrated you need two things you need water and electrolytes," Wilhelm said. "So water is still the best thing, but one basic rule of thumb that I've been taught was two liters of water, and then one liter of electrolytes like Gatorade or one of those products."

The American Red Cross says the elderly and the very young are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illnesses.

"They might not get lethargic but the children will play and play and play until they cant, so if you see your kid who instead of running around with the other kids starts to sit down in the shade and starts to isolate themselves and starts to be by themselves you need to make sure you get that kid to a cooler environment and get some water in them," Wilhelm said.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches.

Wilhelm says if you have some pre-existing medical conditions, heat-related illness may be triggered even faster.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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