A look at the dangers of heat exhaustion

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Updated: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:31:59 CST

Two weeks ago we told you about the dangers surrounding heat stroke. There's also something else to be aware of - especially heading into the State Fair - heat exhaustion. During this hot summer some central Nebraskans have had to deal with heat exhaustion. Dr. Janice Kutilek with the Grand Island Clinic says it can be a serious problem. When you have a high heat index and high humidity, especially higher than sixty percent, the conditions are perfect for heat exhaustion. If you or someone you know works outside all day it's vital to know the symptoms. With heat exhaustion, there is a water and/or salt depletion in the body. When you are overheated you are constantly sweating and you lose salt. It's vital to replace the salt and water you lose through electrolytes by drinking sports drinks. On a normal day you need to drink eight glasses of water, but Kutilek says when you are working out in the hot summer sun you need to drink an eight ounce glass of water every twenty minutes. Symptoms of water depletion include a headache, along with feeling tired and weak. Symptoms of salt depletion include muscle cramping. Water and salt depletion symptoms include vomiting, being nauseated, dizzy, and tired, plus an elevated heart rate, and sweating. With heat exhaustion it's vital to make sure you get into a cool environment. Kulitek says you can also put ice on yourself to cool off. Prevention for heat exhaustion includes drinking plenty of water before, during, and after being outside. Be sure to take breaks in the shade and wear loose clothing and a hat.