Dr. Reeve talks excessive heat exposure, safety precautions

By Gary Scott on June 19, 2017 at 12:33pm

Central Illinois got its first taste of scorching summer heat last week, and while it’s cooled off a bit this week, high temperatures are sure to make a return.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember some of the ways to combat the dangers of heat. Dr. Charles Reeve joined WLDS’ AM Conversation this morning to talk about just that: what to do when it gets too hot.

So what are the dangers caused by excessive heat exposure? Dr. Reeve says while there are numerous risks related to high temperatures, some are more perilous than others.

“I think the biggest danger would be a heat stroke. Essentially, whenever you have heat exhaustion, you can become overheated, dehydrated, or maybe just not feel well overall. Heat stroke is actually a pretty serious disease, it’s whenever your body gets so overheated and overwhelmed, usually a temperature greater than about 103, that you actually will have stroke symptoms. You may have word trouble, you may have loss of power in your extremities, numbness, tingling, confusion, so it’s actually a full-blown stroke,” says Reeve.

Dr. Reeve explains what makes the heat dangerous, and the best thing to do if you find yourself getting overheated.

“The more you’re exposed, obviously the more likely you are to have things like sum burns, or get dehydrated and put yourself at an increased risk for heat exhaustion or heat strokes. The perfect thing to do if you start feeling bad is to get out of the heat, get somewhere cool, get a fan on you, get some water and take care of yourself,” explains Reeve.

One of the biggest keys to avoiding the dangers associated with excessive heat is staying hydrated. Dr. Reeve explains how your body deals with high heat, and says water is still the best remedy.

“You want to stay hydrated all the time. Your body is an excellent filter and typically you’ll be cued in to how much you need to drink. Staying hydrated the night before is very important, but during the day you have to try and take in as much as you can throughout the whole day. Drinks such as Gatorade obviously have their place, but usually for typical people, water is definitely the number one choice,” Reeve says.

To learn more about the dangers of heat and ways to cope with them, listen to our full interview with Dr. Reeve on this site in the “News” tab in the “Latest Newscasts” widget on the right-hand side of the page.