Doctor says heat effects build up

August 17, 2009 8:23:25 PM PDT
Even though the calendar says August, many people may not be ready for the heat ahead.

"When I got up and outta the house I felt the heat, I couldn't even see out the door," says Maria Velasquez of Feltonville.

Despite the heat, she and her family set up for a barbeque today.

To beat the heat they're filling the pool for the kids, and filling the cooler with cold drinks.

It was a similar scene across the street, as 4-year-old Kiara and her sister played in their pool, while their cousins sucked down water ice.

"Those things can cool the body down," says E.R. Doctor Harry Emmerich of Aria Health in Langhorne.

Dr. Emmerich says it's vital to keep kids, the elderly and anyone with medical problems cool, because heat-related injuries can progress quickly. And the more days we have above 90 degrees the greater the risk.

"You can have heat exhaustion on day 2 but your risk is much higher at day 5," he says.

To keep cool:

*Wear light colored clothing

*Try to spend the hottest time of the day in air conditioning, even if that means strolling the shopping mall

* Stay hydrated.

"The most important thing is it make sure you're drinking before your thirsty- your body's thirst mechanism basically says your dehydrated," says Dr. Emmerich.

80-year-old Benny Llorens couldn't resist doing yardwork today. But he says he knows the heat can be tough on people his age, so for the most part he and his wife are taking it easy.

He was spendong, "most of the time in the house, especially in this weather."

One more tip - If you don't have air conditioning, take several cool showers during the day, to bring your body temperature down.

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