Record-high temperatures means possible heat exhaustion; How to stay safe and healthy

SPOKANE, Wash. — The temperatures we are seeing right now can be dangerous for children and the elderly. It doesn’t take long in these conditions to get heat stroke.

Doctors says it typically takes time for people bodies to adjust to these hot temperatures coming out of winter and the first major heat wave of the season is always difficult. It can also be especially tough for kids out playing sports because they’ve been stuck inside for so long.

Before heat stroke comes heat exhaustion and cramps. Once you stop sweating and become disoriented, that’s when it gets to be a serious medical condition.

Children are especially vulnerable.

“What you would think of as a fever, their temperature goes up and up and up—it’s not a normal fever. It can get up to a 107, 108, 109, just as if someone were locked in a hot car,” said Dr. Sarah d’Hulst, a general pediatrician with MultiCare.

It’s not just children who need to be careful, though. Even firefighters in Spokane Valley have to nix wildfire training this week because of the temperatures.

“If we’re out there training when it’s 95-, 96 degrees and were insulting our bodies, we’re wearing gear and we’re sweating, right? We can’t be in that tip-top form to one—physically do it, and two—mentally do it,” said Captain Shawn Pichette, a paramedic.

While many of us enjoy a nice cold drink on a hot day, physicians and paramedics urge people to stay away from liquids that will dehydrate you. That includes caffeinated beverages, alcohol, juices and even coffee. Your best best is to stick with water or something with electrolytes in it. It is important to also remember to start hydrating days in advance.

“So our bodies are climatized to this heat yet, so for us to start today we’re a little bit behind the power curve. We probably should have started two or three days ago getting enough water inside of us,” said Pichette.

Spokane Valley Fire Department says they have not had any calls yet regarding heat-related illness.