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Staying Safe in the intense heat

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Mid July is our hottest time of the year in the Coulee Region. Doctors say hydration and limiting time outdoors are key to staying healthy when the temperatures skyrocket.

Avoid outdoor activity during the hottest times of the day, which is typically noon to 4:00 p.m. It is best to plan your outdoor activities in the morning or late in the evening. If you do venture out however, make sure to apply SPF 30 sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you’re in the water.

If you begin to feel dizzy, confused or extremely lethargic, it’s a sign that you are lacking fluids.

“Drink-wise water is of course the best. Gatorade’s or any of those electrolyte replacing fluids are really only needed if you’re an athlete if you’re practicing for marathons or you’re outside being active. Otherwise they are not really needed,” said Doctor Chris Smith with Mayo Clinic Health System. “Also of course avoiding alcohol because that will make you even more dehydrated.”

Children are especially at risk when it’s hot out.  Doctors say kids are less likely to recognize the warning signs when they’re overheating.  To help prevent a hospital visit, they say to take frequent breaks and head indoors to cool off.

Hospitals are seeing cases of heat exhaustion and kidney injuries from extreme dehydration, both of which can be prevented with proper hydration.

Doctors recommend we drink two liters of water daily, but on a hot day, they suggest up to four liters.