LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — If you’re going to be outside, you need to take precautions. It can turn very serious, even deadly for some.
Hot temperatures and high humidity – a recipe for heat-related illnesses. While people are working in the heat or kids are playing outside, it could feel like triple digits temperatures this week.
“It’s a very preventable condition,” Athletic Trainer with Rockhill Orthopedic Specialists Jessica DeWitt said. “So, being aware and alert and then also taking care of your body.”
St. Luke’s said emergency departments across the Kansas City metro are seeing an increase in patients with heat illness as the summer continues.
“You’ve got to try and stay shaded enough to not get them over exposed,” mom Ginnifer Counti said. “But still be able to have fun without everybody getting heat stroke for the day.”
Here are the signs to look for: Headache, dizziness, excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin.
Cramping in legs means you’re starting to have some heat illness set in, according to DeWitt.
Dewitt said kids could become grumpy and start to fatigue a lot faster.
“So, if they’re out on the playground, get them over in the shade, or take them to your car where there’s air conditioning,” DeWitt said. “Try to remove them from the heat source.”
Heat exhaustion can turn into a heat stroke, which can lead to your organs shutting down. If you start showing symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Dewitt said there are two keyways to prevent a trip to the hospital: Stay hydrated and modify outdoor activities.
“Shade, fans and ice water,” mom Ciara Gattenby said.
She and her kids hit the park in the morning or evening when it’s not as hot.
Later, they plan to make waves at the splash pad.
“We also, kind of, pace ourselves, if they start getting pink cheeks we head out,” Gattenby said.
Infants and people over the age of 65 are at a higher risk. As well as athletes wearing heavy gear putting in work outside.
“So those are your football players, your lacrosse players, your softball and baseball players and even your umpires,” DeWitt said.
The City of Independence is opening a cooling center starting Tuesday through Friday.
Kansas City, Missouri is also offering indoor spots where people can cool off. Find more information here.
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