Protecting Yourself Against Triple-Digit Heat

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Each year, heat kills 1,500 people on average in the United States, more than tornadoes, hurricanes, or any other weather event combined. That's according to the National Weather Service.

When you're having fun outside, it can be easy to forget just how dangerous a Kansas summer day can be. Wichita has had 20 days of 100-degree heat or higher this summer. According to the National Weather Service, that puts people in danger of getting a heat illness, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Your best first line of defense is drinking water and plenty of it.

“The heat does take energy out of you, but the best thing to do is just make sure to do is just keep hydrated,” Tyler Enyart told us as he was enjoying the day outside at Sedgwick County Park.

If you're planning on working or exercising outside, experts say you should drink water before, during and after your activity. Try to drink at least seven ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. One big gulp of water is about an ounce for most adults.

Over at the playground at Sedgwick County Park, we found families doing their best to keep little ones cool.

“I'll just keep him in the stroller with the cover on it, make sure he has plenty of water and he isn't overdoing it, especially at this time of the day,” Adan Rodriguez said.

Another hot day danger is playground equipment. On a summer day, their surfaces can be upwards of a 100 degrees. The best thing for parents to do is touch the equipment themselves first and teach kids to do the same.

“We just make sure to tell him to touch it before he just jumps on it,” Rodriguez said.

The National Weather Service advises to just use common sense during the summer. Drink water and take breaks. At the first signs of heat illness, like headaches, dizziness or dry lips, go inside and get out of the sun.

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