Avoid the ER by taking care of yourself with temperatures in the 100′s

Heat illness
Heat illness(Aleah Burggraff)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - High temperatures mean even higher caution.

Rapid City and other parts of western South Dakota are experiencing some of the hottest days of the year so far and this excessive heat can lead to medical issues.

“So, when we have problems with heat it starts with heat cramps, and that can be cramping or the tightness of the muscles, and then it can progress to heat exhaustion, which is usually more some dizziness, some nausea. Often times you’re still sweating with that and then the final thing is heat stroke and that’s when we have neurologic symptoms. You become dizzy, you can have confusion, and you can have seizures and that’s the real emergency for us,” said Dr. Brook Eide, the Emergency Department Medical Director at Monument Health.

Eide said factors such as how long you are in the heat, what activity you are doing, and how hydrated you are staying all contribute to how fast these medical issues can happen.

“And so that’s why it’s important to stay hydrated, wear cool clothes, and really try to avoid that heat during the key points of the day when it’s the hottest,” said Eide.

That time typically falls between 10 am to 2 pm, times Eide recommended staying out of the heat.

If you have to be out, avoid caffeine and alcohol and focus on hydrating by drinking fluids with electrolytes or water.

Remember once you feel thirsty, you’re already behind on hydration.

“People most prone to heat injuries are really the people very old and very young. So, our young children, we have to be careful when they’re out playing to keep them hydrated, and then our elder population can become dehydrated more quickly. So, it’s really important for them to keep cool and keep hydrated.”

Eide reassured those who still choose to wear masks to protect themselves from Covid-19 or the new Delta variant are not putting themselves at more risk from heat-health issues.

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