Rising temperatures mean you should take extra precautions to prevent heatstroke

Doctor offers tips to protect you and your family during oppressive heat

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A heat advisory went into effect Friday, July 10 and will carry into the weekend.

There are extra precautions people should take in order to stay safe in the heat. As temperatures rise, so does a person’s body temperature, whether they are aware of it or not.

“The reason why we worry about the heat advisory is because of heatstroke and it will often result in death,” said Dr. Vincent Shaw, a family medicine physician with Baton Rouge General Hospital (BRG).

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Dangerous heat continues through weekend

He says heatstroke is not something you should leave to chance. Typically, one of the best ways to prevent it is by drinking lots of water, but also fueling the body with substances.

“So if you are not adequately fueled, your body is not able to sort of, what we call thermal regulate itself or its temperature, so it starts to try and break down fats and things like that to generate energy and by doing that, it also generates more heat,” Dr. Shaw said.

For those who are in need, food and water are sometimes hard to find. In this heat, every little thing counts. Ernest Scott feels that way as he seeks out shelter and healthy foods during this heatwave.

“Like I said, it’s a blessing because others can’t get water or anything else because of finical problems,” Scott said.

The non-profit organization, St. Vincent de Paul, is providing meals and extra water for the homeless during the heat advisory.

“Of course with COVID-19, we had to go to to-go meals, and so we have a hot meal and a brown bag supper to-go. In the brown bag supper, there is a bottle of water, but in addition to that, we are providing additional bottles of water because of the heatwave,” explained Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of St. Vincent de Paul.

Organizers with St. Vincent de Paul say they will be handing out meals and extra water bottles between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. this weekend to make sure anyone in need is taken care of.

Overall, the basic precautions focus on fueling the body, whether with water or healthy foods. Experts recommend you also take plenty of breaks while doing physical activities or staying outside for long periods of time.

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