Greenville City Fire Department offers tips to prevent heat-related illnesses

The Greenville City Fire Department urges area residents to practice heat safety during these hot summer days.

When it's hot and humid outside, the body finds it difficult to cool itself.   File photo

The Greenville City Fire Department (GCFD) urges area residents to practice heat safety during these hot summer days.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that heat is the top cause of weather-related fatalities. When it's really hot and humid outside, the body finds it difficult to cool itself. On the bright side, heat-related illnesses or death can be prevented.

Kevin Crosby of the GCFD says that whenever possible, it's best to avoid being outdoors for lengthy periods of time during extreme heat. If that's not possible, he recommends to drink lots of fluids before, during and after heat exposure and to wear breathable clothing. Drinking water when or even before you feel thirsty helps prevent dehydration, he said.

Crosby offers other tips as well.

**Outdoor job sites pose plenty of heat-related hazards, so workers should stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks.

**Never leave people or pets in parked vehicles on hot days, as the temperature can rise quickly inside, even with the windows slightly opened.

**Limit strenuous activities, apply sunscreen and stay hydrated. Loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing helps keep the body a bit cooler. A hat can also protect the head from ultraviolet rays.

**Check on older or ill neighbors who do not have air conditioning to ensure they are okay.

**Any symptoms such as confusion, headache, seizures or even high body temperature could indicate a problem. Seek medical attention.

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