HATTIESBURG, MISS. – This summer doctors in the area searched for numerous ways to beat the South Mississippi heat. Jeremy B. Wells, a sports medicine physician with the Hattiesburg Clinic breaks “heat safety” down using three simple steps.
“I like to think about heat safety really in three realms, heat, hydration, and help,” Wells said. “Really with the heat you know it's going to be there. It's going to be hot as the day goes, so try to plan your activities towards early in the morning or late in the afternoon.”
However, if you manage to get caught in the midday heat, Wells recommends hydrating before going out.
“Make sure you are hydrating before you head out,” Wells said. “Before you get exhausted and you're trying to catch up.”
Wells explained that the hydration process actually starts days before participating in an outdoor activity, and local athletes who plan to be in the sun need to start hydrating now.
“It's getting close to the time for two-a-days to start with football athletes,” Well said. “We really need to be hydrating now, and planning to make sure that we are good and hydrated before the really hot, humid and sweaty workouts.”
Wells recommends those participating in activities during the summer, to drink one cup of water every ten minutes. He also advises adults to keep a close eye on children and senior citizens.
“Typically we worry more with our younger kids just because they're smaller, very active and they don't know their bodies as well you do,” Well stated. “[Senior citizens] maybe exercising frequently and used to the heat, but medications and illnesses can exacerbate signs of heat illness.”
Symptoms of heat illness include vomiting, lightheadedness, and inability to communicate with others. Wells also recommends for the public not to drink sodas or teas in the midday heat.