CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Summer doesn’t officially began until June 20, but western Massachusetts is already seeing dangerously high temperatures.
The region is experiencing the first heatwave of the year. Extreme heat can cause people to suffer from heat-related illnesses, but there are ways to protect yourself from getting sick.
“The water is really warm and nice, it’s been really fun,” Haleigh Koziol from Chicopee said.
Heat-related illness happens when the body is unable to properly cool itself. According to the CDC, more than 700 people die from heat in the United States every year.
“You start to really get sweaty, you feel like you have the flu, you may get nauseous. All the way to heat stroke where you start to act off mentally which we call alter-mental status where you can’t think appropriately, you may develop seizures,” Dr. Gerald Beltran, from the Pre-Hospital and Disaster Medicine Department at Baystate Health.
Also remeber to never leave your kids or pets in a car. On average, 38 children die each year from vehicular heatstroke. There have already been two deaths this year in the United States.
If you feel sick, go inside to an air conditioned room. Drink plenty of water. If these symptoms persist, call 9-1-1.
“If you’re sweating a lot you may want to look at electrolytes solution. What I mean by that I mean like a Powerade or Gatorade. Mix that half water and Gatorade and sip on that,” Dr. Beltran said.
The CDC recommends spending time outside during the early morning or late evening, to avoid being outside during the warmest part of the day.