SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Extreme heat and humidity events, like the one we are experiencing now, can trigger serious health issues in many people.

While everyone has to be careful during this extended heat wave, it’s important to give extra attention to those at either end of the age spectrum, babies, and elderly adults.

Intense heat and humidity like we are experiencing now can be dangerous, even deadly. People who are the most at risk from suffering from heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, include people with underlying health conditions and the elderly.

Infants and babies are also at risk because they are unable to regulate their body temperature like adults can. Heat exhaustion is more common and occurs when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded.

The earliest signs that you’ve been exposed too long are that you start not to feel very well, people often develop a headache, they feel dizzy, they can be nauseous of feel like they have to throw up, they can feel weak, they can get muscle cramps.

Dr. Joseph Schmidt, chief of emergency medicine at Baystate Medical Center

If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Schmidt says to get out of the heat and drink fluids. The more serious condition is heat stroke.

You can have many of the same symptoms, but they progress to where people become confused. that’s an indication that you should seek medical attention right away.

Dr. Joseph Schmidt, chief of emergency medicine at Baystate Medical Center

To prevent these heat-related illnesses, Dr. Schmidt suggests staying inside, head to a cooling center if your home is too hot and drink plenty of water. 22News spoke to people and many say they are taking steps to protect themselves.

I tried to get a walk in this morning before the heat got above 80 degrees. Staying inside for the rest of the day, drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated, and then maybe some ice cream for dessert later on tonight.

Brett Overgaart, Springfield

Dr. Schmidt says this is also a great time to check in with any elderly neighbors or relatives you may have to see they are okay.