Staying Cool in the Heat, What Health Leaders Want You to Know to Stay Safe

Burlington, Vt. - Monday was a scorcher, temperatures reaching the 90's.

When it's hot like this, health leaders urge you to do as much as you can to stay cool, or you can get seriously sick.

Many took advantage of the sun, going for a sun on the Burlington Waterfront.

"Maybe get tan a little bit," Jamie LaPierre said.

"We can't be at the beach so we might as well be outside doing something," Erin Featherstone said.

Friends Jamie LaPierre and Erin Featherstone ran 3 miles, trying to stay cool every step of the way.

"Well, we stopped by the lake an I rubbed water all over my skin,"  LaPierre said. "We were going to stop by Burlington Bay to get quick cups of water."

There was a long line there too, creemes being sold left and right. Jackie Budgor took the two children she nannies, Caroline and Wilder Clayton, to get ice cream.

"For them, it's a big treat," Budgor said.

They went to the Echo Leahy Center to play in the air conditioning.

"You don't want them to overheat, or for any of us to overheat," Budgor said.

Health leaders say you have cool down anyway you can, just so you don't get sick.

"Not surprisingly on warmer days, you get more visits to the emergency room. for heat related illnesses than you do on cooler days," David Grass from the Vermont Health Department said.

Grass is the Environmental Health Surveillance Chief at the health department. He says Vermonters are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses once temperatures reach as high as 87 degrees.

The main impacts are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To break it down, if someone has heat exhaustion they'll be sweaty, cold and clammy.

 "Cool them down, helping them to take sips of water," Grass said.

With heat stroke, someone will feel dry and hot, they might have a headache.

"They might lose consciousness and in that case, you want to cool them but you also want to call 911 as quickly as possible," Grass said.

The Vermont Department of Health wanted to clarify it's earlier quote, sending the following emergency guidance to Local 22/Local 44 via email: "If you think someone may have heat stroke, you want to cool them down but you also want to call 911 as quickly as possible,"

Grass says heat stroke can be deadly.

"Heat related illness kills more people in the United States than all other weather related weather emergencies combine," he added.

The health department wants you to stay cool, hydrated and informed.

"We really want people thinking about it, preparing for it. and avoiding it," Grass said.

While anyone can develop heat-related illnesses, children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are the most susceptible.

For more information about health related illnesses, click here.


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