Campus News

Prevent heat stress, stroke

In the midst of temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Georgians need to know how to recognize the signs of heat stress and stroke, said David Stooksbury, state climatologist and an assistant professor with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

People and animals need time to recover from high temperatures. If the nighttime heat index doesn’t fall below 74 degrees, it’s hard to recover from daytime heat, according to Stooksbury.

To avoid heat-related problems, remember to:
• Wear lightweight, loose clothing and a hat.
• Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.
• Avoid drinking alcoholic or caffeinated ­beverages.
• Find a cool place to recover from the heat.
• Avoid working outdoors in the heat of the day if possible.

“Thirst is not a good indicator of your body’s water needs,” Stooksbury said. “If you are working or playing in a hot environment and don’t have to urinate once every few hours, then you are probably not drinking enough water.”

Stooksbury said heat-related health problems are especially a concern for the elderly, those with underlying health problems and those on medications that interfere with the body’s ability to cool.