Use caution as sizzling temperatures enter Northwest Georgia

Friday, June 14, 2024–8:06 a.m.

-Atrium Health Floyd News Release-

6-year-old boy drinking water to quench his thirst due to the hot weather

With the daily highs going from delightful to detestable in northwest Georgia, it’s time for people who play or work outdoors – especially seniors and young children– to take some steps to keep from being beaten by the heat.

Children under 2 and adults 65 and over tend to overheat more easily than the rest of the population, so they need to be monitored during severely hot weather. It’s important to be mindful of staying hydrated and safe to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

“Heat issues are common when the high temperatures top 90 degrees. Most heat-related health problems can be prevented if you take precautions,” said Dr. Terrell Jenrette, a physician at Atrium Health Floyd Primary Care Family Medicine in Rockmart.

Heat exhaustion is often accompanied by nausea, light-headedness, fatigue, muscle cramping and dizziness.

Heat stroke carries many of the same signs and symptoms, only worse. These include vomiting, confusion, an increase in heart rate, headache, and in serious cases, loss of consciousness.

“If you experience any of those symptoms you need to do something immediately to cool down your body,” said Jenrette. “Try to find an air-conditioned building. Take a cold shower or bath, and make sure you drink plenty of water.”

It’s best to avoid caffeine and soft drinks because they can cause you to urinate, possibly increasing problems that come from being dehydrated.

Other simple common-sense tips to prevent heat stroke include:

  • Avoid prolonged time in the heat.
  • Take breaks from outdoor activity – instead of mowing the yard all at once, take a break. Go inside, cool off, and have a glass of water.
  • Exercise early in the morning or later in the day when it is cooler.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing made of breathable fabrics.
  • Be especially cautious if you are taking blood pressure or heart medication or diuretics.
  • Never leave anyone unattended in a vehicle in hot weather.

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