Doctor gives advice on preventing heat exhaustion

VIDEO: Doctor gives advice on preventing heat exhaustion
Published: Jun. 24, 2016 at 3:37 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2016 at 2:23 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With temperatures nearing 100 degrees it's important to protect you body from heat exhaustion.

Listen to your body while you're in the heat and drink plenty of water because heat exhaustion can be dangerous.

Emergency Physician at Roper St. Francis, Dr. Anc Clarkson says it can be a miserable experience.

"That's when you start feeling sick because of the heat," he said.

He's says they've seen patients in the emergency room with heat exhaustion this year, but they usually see a peak in August when the temperatures are hotter.

"It starts with you feeling tired, it can lead to cramps it could even lead to heat stroke if unchecked," Dr. Clarkson said.  "It's important to keep track of how much fluid you're taking in."

Staying hydrated is key and everyone's body is different in terms of how much you should drink.

Clarkson says an average, 40-year-old man should drink about three liters a day while an average 40 -year-woman should drink about two liters a day.

"It's tricky for most people, your body's thirst mechanism is probably your best meter for how much water you need," he said.

It also depends on your activity level, size and age. Clarkson says kids should have ready access to water and everyone should drink water before they need it, especially for children because they dehydrate quicker than adults.

It's just as important to ease into your outdoor summer activities.

"Someone that has been spending the last few months of winter and spring indoors is cautioned not to spend three hours running back and fourth on the Ravenel Bridge at noon." Clarkson said.

If you have any signs of heat exhaustion stop the activity you're doing, move indoors and drink water. If things progress go see a doctor.

Clarkson says people should be dropped off to an emergency room immediately if "they're unaware of where they are, they have altered mental status, they're cognition drops off, they're not able to think clearly."

Some older people taking medication can be at higher risk for dehydration because of the medications they are taking. Be aware of that so you can take proper precaution before being exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.

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