Man standing in the sun
Summer heat and humidity can take a toll on anyone, but certain ages or people with chronic disease have a higher risk for developing serious complications, such as heat stroke, more quickly
Monday, June 25, 2018

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Summertime and the weather is … dry. Hot. Humid.

While blue skies and time spent in the backyard are highlights of warm-weather months, the temperatures that accompany summer here can pose health risks, especially to people with underlying health conditions.

“Summer heat and humidity can take a toll on anyone, but certain ages or people with chronic disease have a higher risk for developing serious complications, such as heat stroke, more quickly,” said Dr. Joseph McDermott of Summit Primary Care – Mercersburg Health Center.

People likely to be more affected by the heat include the very young; people 65 or older; people who are physically ill; those with heart disease or high blood pressure; and people with a mental illness.

Signs of heat stroke:

  • Headache
  • Fast heart beat and/or breathing
  • High core body temperature
  • Flushed skin or skin that is hot and dry
  • Nausea or vomiting

When the heat index climbs because of high temperatures and humidity, Dr. McDermott said all people should stay indoors in air conditioning if possible. Those living in homes without air conditioning should try to seek relief in a public place like a library or mall.

“During times like that, people really should avoid being outdoors. If they do go outside, they should avoid strenuous activity, rest frequently and make sure they’re drinking plenty of water.”

The amount of additional water you should drink depends on the amount of fluids lost while active.

“If you wait to drink until you’re thirsty, you’re already becoming dehydrated,” added Dr. McDermott. “Keep in mind your level of activity and how much you’ve been sweating to help gauge water intake.”

People whose providers limit their fluid intake or who take water pills should consult with their provider about the appropriate intake of water.

For more information on having a healthy summer, click here.

 

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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