Heading out this weekend? Watch out for dehydration, doctors say

Trish Hartman Image
Friday, July 22, 2022
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Due to the extreme heat, doctors say this weekend is not the time to work outside.

SPRINGFIELD TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Throughout New Jersey, people flocked to water attractions on Friday in an effort to stay active, but cool in the excessive heat.

"They have to bring water. It is a group so we have a section that we reserve," said Margie Olivencia, who was supervising a group of teen campers from Rowan University Outward Bound. "They have to use sunblock, we make sure that they do."

"We have misting stations we just set up today," said General Manager Adam Heiser. "Just get in the water and stay as cool as possible."

Across the Garden State and the region, excessive heat has people looking for relief.

SEE ALSO: Extreme heat dangers and safety tips | What you need to know

New Jersey American Water customers in seven counties have been asked to limit how much they water their lawns and gardens. Ocean and Monmouth counties have been issued mandatory restrictions.

Doctors say this weekend is not the time to work outside.

"I notice an increase in patients having headaches, migraines," said Neurologist Dr. Parth Modi of Virtua Health.

He said everyone needs to hydrate right now, even those staying inside.

"It can really creep up on people," said Modi. "It's not just those who are outside and experiencing hot weather. It's even people who are indoors but maybe aren't turning on the AC at a high enough level."

Officials with Virtua Health say across their five hospitals, they've seen a few heat exhaustion cases this week.

SEE ALSO: Heat wave safety tips and information

The emergency department director said these patients were dehydrated and near syncope, or fainting.

On the Burlington County Fairgrounds in Springfield Twp., Diamond the dairy cow got a cool shower.

"Got a bunch of fans and when they start looking hot we bring them out and cool them off," said Erica Puskas from Franklin Township.

Many of the caretakers say these animals are used to hot conditions, but they're watching them closely and bringing them plenty of water.

For humans, there's a hospital tent on the grounds in case of emergency, and there are plenty of vendors selling cold treats like lemonade and ice cream.

"People are just anxious to stay cool. They walk around with water bottles," said Farm Fair Manager Rosemary Kay. "The evenings are magnificent. As soon as the sun starts to go down and the breeze comes across the field it's just beautiful."

And a safety tip from the Red Cross: if your indoor temperature is 95 degrees or higher, do not use an electric fan because it could actually raise your body temperature. Best case scenario, get into some air conditioning, or experts say you can take a cool bath or shower to prevent overheating.