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Heat Illness Rising With Summer Temperatures

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Mister Sun

(credit: AP Photo/Augusta Chronicle, Andrew Davis Tucker)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Some outdoor workers are much closer to heat illness than they think.

Health care professionals, such as Julie Redmon, a registered nurse with Medical City’s Acute Kids Urgent Care, said heat illness can quickly sneak up on people.

“You have to watch out and make sure you stay out of direct sun so if you’re in direct sun for long periods, you want to get out of it more often in a shaded or cooler area,” she said. “You want to make sure you are staying hydrated.”

But for those who work outdoors in the brutal Texas heat, working hard to avoid heat illness can quickly sneak up on you.

At Castillo Landscaping, owner Juan Castillo learned the hard way to keep hydrated after a bout of serious heat illness.

“Dizzy. Stomach hurt and I just wanted to throw up. You just don’t want to do anything. You just want to be sitting down,” he said. “It could be dangerous if you’re not used it.”

CBS 11 crews brought Redmon to assess one of Castillo’s employees to see just how close he was to heat illness after just a half day’s work.

“His heart rate is about 140. Normal heart rate for an adult is less than 100 so if it’s over, you’re starting to show signs of what’s called tachycardia, you’re heart is beating too fast,” Redmon said.

That, along with an above normal temperature, can signal the start of heat illness.

Redmon recommended the employee, who did not want to be named, get some rest and drink water.

That is easy to remedy, Redmon said, but ignoring the signs and symptoms can quickly lead to heat exhaustion (when a person stops sweating and is unable to regulate body temperature) or even worse, heat stroke.

“At that point of the heat stroke level, you have a 7o percent chance of death, so it’s serious,” Redmon said.

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