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Sch'dy County officials offer heat tips

Never leave pets outside for extended periods of time. Ensure pets have an ample supply of water.

Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours " 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated " extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.

People with heart, kidney or liver disease or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake, said county officials.

County officials also said to seek help if you feel symptoms of heat-related illness:

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms, usually in the leg or stomach muscles, resulting from heavy exertion during extreme heat. Heat cramps usually occur when the heat index is between 90 and 105 degrees. Although heat cramps are the least severe of all heat-related health problems, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble coping with the heat and should be treated immediately with rest and fluids. Stretching, gentle massaging of the spasms, or direct, firm pressure on cramps can reduce pain. Seek medical attention if pain is severe or nausea occurs.

Heat exhaustion occurs when body fluids are lost through heavy sweating due to vigorous exercise or working in a hot, humid place. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to vital organs to decrease. Symptoms include: sweating, pale and clammy skin, fatigue, headache, dizziness, shallow breaths, and a weak pulse.

Heat exhaustion should be treated with rest in a cool area, sipping water or electroyte solutions, applying cool and wet cloths, elevating the feet 12 inches, and further medical treatment in severe cases. If not treated, the victim's condition may escalate to heat stroke. If the victim does not respond to basic treatment, seek medical attention. Heat exhaustion usually occurs when the heat index is between 90 and 105 degrees.

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