Watching youngsters essential to avoiding heat stroke

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We heard the same four words repeated over and over again Saturday: it's hot!

Melissa Knowles and Allison McDonald sat outside in the high temperatures for hours before they could escape into the relief of air conditioning.

Both their sons just started the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League.

A little preparation for the summer sports season is a must.

"I have a cooler full of water and some Gatorade," said Allison. "I've frozen the water overnight and that way, you know, when we get a little overheated we have something to cool us off so we can be comfortable and enjoy the day."

Captain Wesley Wampler with the Richmond Ambulance Authority says thinking ahead could prevent the debilitating effects of heat exhaustion.

"A lot of it is profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness, that type of thing," said Wampler.

Many of the authority's calls this weekend have been heat related.

Especially when it comes to kids.

"Kids run until they're exhausted and you kind of have to tell them to stop and by that point it's sometimes a little bit late," he said.

The little ones also like soda and other sugary, caffeinated drinks -- things they need to avoid when out in the blazing sun.

These are some of the telltale signs you could be in trouble.

"Just watch for profuse sweating and if they start falling around because they're dizzy, if they constantly have to sit down to take a break because they're too hot," said Wampler.

There comes a time though when water and air conditioning aren't going to cut it.

A call to 911 becomes necessary.

"When you get to the point where the sweating stops, that's a bad sign," he said.

Wampler says wearing light-colored and lightweight clothing will help keep you cool.

And while beer and barbeque may go hand-in-hand for a summer grill out.

For adults, avoiding alcohol could help keep you from becoming dehydrated.

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