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First hot, humid weekend of the year; avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke

Temperatures Saturday could reach the 90s and some areas in mid-Missouri might have a heat index in the lower 90s because of the humidity.

People should be aware of the high temperatures and humidity because heat-related illnesses can become an issue.

According to an online report referencing some doctors with the University of Missouri’s Health Care, the elderly and children are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

For the elderly, heat and humidity can add stress and cause serious health risks. Children gain heat faster through their skin than adults.

Common heat-related illnesses are dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Some signs of dehydration are dry mouth, thirstiness, dry lips, fatigue, lightheadedness and headaches.

According to the report, treatment for dehydration includes drinking lots of water. If you are sweating a lot, drink lots of fluids that replace body salts and minerals, like a sports drink.

Some signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea and a lot of sweating.

Treatment for heat exhaustion is air conditioning, rest and water.

If these illnesses are left untreated, they can lead to a heat stroke.

Some signs of heat strokes include extremely high body temperature of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit; hot, dry skin with no sweating; rapid pulse; confusion; and changes in mental status.

If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, 911 needs to be called.

Here are some tips to stay cool when it is hot and humid outside:

Drink lots of water Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothes Avoid direct sunlight and stay in the shade as much as possible Mist yourself with water Take a cool or room-temperature bath

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