Staying ahead of heat-related illnesses

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As our temperatures start to rise, it’s important to talk about the threat of heat-related illnesses. On average, Vermont sees 80 cases every year.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, a spike in heat-related illnesses occurs during the months of May and June.

The human body is still adjusting from winter temperatures and will struggle with the hot temperatures at the start of the summer months.

Jared Ulmer, a climate and health program coordinator with the health department says the two populations at most risk are the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. 

“What the heat is doing is exacerbating some kind of pre-existing condition. A heart condition, a respiratory condition, and the heat make it worse,” said Ulmer.

Ulmer says it’s best for those populations to remain indoors, in a cool location.

Those active should drink plenty of fluids, that way to avoid dehydration.

“Even if you don’t feel that thirsty, on a hot day, your body is definitely using your water,” Ulmer said.

Watch out for signs of heat-related illness as well, they are more common than you think.

“Muscle cramping, heavy sweating, any kind of feeling of lightheadedness. If you start experiencing any of those seek medical attention”, Ulmer said.

For more information on how summer heat can impact your health, you can read more here.

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