Heat exhaustion rising with the temperatures - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Heat exhaustion rising with the temperatures

Whether at work or play, keep hydrated and properly protected from the heat and sun. (Source: WAFF) Whether at work or play, keep hydrated and properly protected from the heat and sun. (Source: WAFF)

The heat is already affecting many people in the Tennessee Valley.

HEMSI has responded to 19 heat-related injuries since May. Four of them happened Thursday. 

The young and the elderly are most susceptible to heatstroke, but it can happen to anyone, especially those working outdoors. 

Working on roofs in this heat isn't easy in the summer.

"I got a family to provide for," said roofer Anthony Hood, who fights extreme temperature on the job 365 days a year.

"In winter you are just trying to stay warm; you can put enough clothes on to stay warm, but come summertime, you can't take enough clothes off to cool down," said Hood.

Hood drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated in the summer months. Some roofers wear a hat for shade, but Hood prefers a t-shirt on his head.

"Once the sweat builds up it's just like a cool thing on your head,” said Hood.

Sometimes hats and water aren't enough. One of Hood's workers has suffered heatstroke.

"They got down the ladder and I guess it was unbearable and they just passed out. It's a scary situation," said Hood.

HEMSI Chief Operating Officer Don Webster says during heatstroke, your body stops sweating and your brain starts heating up.

"When it gets so hot it starts shutting down and causes brain damage," said Webster.

To beat the heat, Webster recommends you wear light-colored clothing and a hat. He says drinking sports drinks are good, but water is king.

"The key point is just to hydrate," said Webster.

Webster says if you feel your body heating up, be cautious and use common sense.

"Sit down, relax, get where there is a fan or some cooling place and just try to rest and relax for a little bit," said Webster, who also says to avoid alcohol in this heat because it can make you feel cooler than you actually are.

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