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Tips to stay safe during this weekend’s excessive heat

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The temperatures this weekend will rise to the hottest it will be all summer long.

When spending time outside during excessive heat, doctors say listening to your body is crucial to staying healthy. Your body will give off many signs that you’re dehydrated or overheated.  Doctors want you to be able to spot those signs.

Dehydration can take the form of dizziness, thirst, feeling light headed, and even a racing heart. Oddly enough, not sweating at all is also a sign of both overheating and dehydration. In this situation, your body can no longer control it’s own body temperature. Doctor’s recommend seeking help right away if you get to this point. Drinking the right liquids will also help.

“You lose a lot of salt and electrolytes (when you sweat), ” Mayo Clinic Health System Dr. Michael Lindeke said. “So if you’re thinking you’re dehydrated and you’re trying to replenish that, it’s not a bad idea to do things like Gatorade in addition to water to replace those salt and electrolytes.”

Drinking alcohol or caffeine can also speed up the body’s dehydration process. Dr. Lindeke recommends if you’re going to drink them, match each beverage with a glass of water.

La Crosse Aquatics Director Ryan Miller says local pools are already seeing many people this summer, especially on hot days. This weekend, the lifeguards are making sure to take extra precautions when monitoring swimmers and also their own well being. Miller advises his lifeguards to apply sunscreen through out the day, stay hydrated, and take breaks when they can.

“On extra hot days like this weekend, we have mandatory safety breaks, more so than we normally have. On safety breaks we clear the pool, empty it out of all the patrons in the pool and remind them to hydrate, visit the concession stands and reapply sunscreen, ” Miller said.

In addition to drinking the right amount of fluids, Dr. Lindeke said that applying sunscreen will help make your experience in the heat much more tolerable.

He suggests wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeve SPF shirts, applying SPF 30 sunscreen, and wearing a hat to shield your face.

“The effect the sun has on your skin and the risk of skin cancer and other things is actually a cumulative thing so as you go through life each time you have a bad sunburn, it kind of adds to your risk of skin cancer and other skin conditions,” Dr. Lindeke said.



Abigail Moore

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