Sizzling temperatures could turn hazardous

Forecasters say the weather will likely get hotter before it cools down. The mercury is expected to keep rising well into the triple digits by mid-week.

Doctor Krystol O'Rourke with Rex ExpressCare in Cary says the forecasted temperatures could pose serious health risks.

"Anyone is at risk, especially if you're outside for a long time," said O'Rourke. "I worry that people might not be drinking enough and they could get really sick from being outside in the heat for prolonged periods."

Officials say that is why residents should avoid being outside in the heat for extended periods of time.

"The best thing that you can do is hydrate yourself well," O'Rourke said.

It is the same advice the employees at Auto Bell Car Wash say they live by.

"We stay drinking water all day long," said Ryan Ivey with Autobell Car Wash. "It's better to stay hydrated than to get real thirsty."

Health officials say staying hydrated is key. So is wearing cool clothing and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest times of the day.

They say the elderly and those with chronic health conditions are more susceptible to the heat, but anyone can get sick. It all comes down to having common sense, drinking lots of water and paying attention to signs that something could be wrong.

According to state health officials in a two week period last month, 319 people sought emergency care and most of them were young and middle-aged adults who said they were exposed to the heat while playing or working outside.

Officials say if anyone experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion --excessive sweating, feeling weak, like you might faint, dizziness, nausea and/or headache-- don't ignore it and take action.

"Get into an air conditioned space, drink some cool fluids, even sponge yourself off or get in a cool shower to get that body temperature down," O'Rourke said.

If you don't start feeling better within an hour, doctors say you should go to the hospital, because it could be a sign of something more serious like heat stroke.

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