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Hydration Key To Avoiding Heat-Related Illness

Posted at 11:35 AM, Jul 03, 2012
and last updated 2015-05-22 10:51:31-04

Simple steps can keep families safe on the Fourth of July as they enjoy outdoor festivities in this excessive heat.

"You can always go out. You can always have fun. Just be prepared ahead of time. Be smart," Dr. Dan Rusyniak, from Wishard Hospital, told RTV6's Jenna Kooi.

Hydrating ahead of time and staying hydrated throughout the day is of the utmost importance, Rusyniak said.

"The main way we cool ourselves off in heat is to sweat and to sweat, you need to be well hydrated," Rusyniak said.

Clothing also matters. Rusyniak recommended wearing white-colored clothes and warned a shirt shouldn't be optional.

"It's better actually to wear a shirt than to not wear a shirt. It turns out, sweat and the ability to wick sweat away with a shirt is going to cool you off better than being out there shirtless," he said.

Sweating excessively or feeling dizzy or weak are signs that it's time to head inside to get cool, using ice packs if needed.

Rusyniak said passing out and feeling confused are signs of heat stroke, which is a dangerous condition that should be treated by a medical professional immediately.