How to avoid heat related illness during the Valley's high temperatures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The hot weather has ambulance crews rolling and most of the patients suffering heat problems are elderly.

"It's mostly with the elderly right now just because they can't perceive heat like we do, they don't process it the same way," said Hal Fielding with American Ambulance.

Fielding said many older folks don't have air conditioning, and can easily be distressed by the heat-- it is especially dangerous if they live alone.

"If you have a single elderly neighbor go and check on them, make sure they are okay."

At Valley Children's Hospital, more children are being seen for heat related problems.

"The mature thermal regulatory systems within their body or within their brains and so their body temperature rises three to five times higher or faster than it does in an adult," said Carlos Flores, Registered Nurse.

The obvious precautions apply, avoid the heat, drink lots of water, and be on the lookout for signs of overheating in children and adults.

"Some of the signs and symptoms you may see would be first of all fatigue, weakness, decrease in performance, nausea, vomiting-- that can also lead into more severe symptoms such as hallucinations or confusion," said Flores.

Seek medical attention, call 911 if those severe symptoms develop and get the person to a cool place as soon as possible.

Medical professionals say the best way to avoid a trip to the hospital is to stay out of the heat if you can and if you have to be out, hydrate with water-- at least 10 gulps every half hour.
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