Staying safe during the heatwave

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 19:47:55-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Middle Tennessee is flirting with triple-digit temperatures this week.

With temperatures possibly hitting triple digits, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are definitely a concern. One of the easiest ways to stay safe in this heat is by drinking water and staying hydrated.

Dehydration causes the heart to work harder, putting the heart at risk.

Hydration helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles -- and it helps the muscles work efficiently.

Dr. Daniel Muñoz with the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute and new president of the local American Heart Association Board of Directors said during July and August they see an influx of heat-related medical situations.

Muñoz said if you feel lightheaded or nauseous, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and rehydrate.

"Dizziness, nausea, those are early signs and can quickly progress to a very dangerous situation where blood pressure drops, people lose consciousness and fundamentally the body loses the ability to regulate normal temperature and truly get overheated," said Muñoz.

If you notice someone who has been in the heat for a long time who isn't alert, confused, or can't respond, don't hesitate to call 911.

That could be a sign they're having a heat stroke.

If possible you'll also want to avoid going outside from 12 to 3 p.m. - that's when the sun is usually the strongest.