With heat indexes expected to be well over 100 degrees this weekend, we all need to be vigilant to keep ourselves and those around us a step ahead of the health risks.

Calhoun County Board Chair Steve Frisbie, who is an EMT with Lifecare Ambulance was on the 95.3 WBCK Friday Morning Show with Tim Collins.  Frisbie said Lifecare hadn’t had too many calls for heat-related emergencies as of Friday morning, but he expects that to change with the extreme heat on Friday and Saturday.   “The biggest thing is to stay hydrated and you have to start early, “ said Frisbie.  “Start with hydration before you begin activity.  If you’re trying to re-hydrate after you begin an activity in this weather, you’ll never catch up, so start now.  Start drinking water before you go out to begin your activity.”

Frisbie also offered the following tips:

  • Limit your exposure to the heat.
  • Make sure you have a place to cool off or a plan to be able to cool off.
  • If you’re sweating heavily or feeling dizzy, get yourself out of the heat.
  • Take a shower to cool down.
  • Keep an eye on your neighbors, especially older folks and young kids.
  • If you’re working outside, keep an eye on co-workers.

The website FamilyDoctor.org reminds us to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or about a half-gallon minimum on average.  If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber color, you may be dehydrated.

If staying hydrated is difficult for you, here are some tips that can help:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free.

Recognizing signs of dehydration is important. They include:

  • Little or no urine.
  • Urine that is darker than usual.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Sleepiness or fatigue.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • No tears when crying.