York's hot days lead to medical warning


With heat indexes in excess of 100 degrees last weekend and temperatures expected to climb into the high 80s and low 90s this weekend, the medical community is warning Yorkers to be aware of heat- related illness.

Young children and older adults are most at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and medications such as diuretics can cause bodies to dehydrate faster, said Dr. Linda Taylor, who works for Patient First, which operates a clinic in Springettsbury Township.

She said people who are at risk of heat-related illnesses should stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day.

"If you have to go outside, drink plenty of fluids," Taylor said.

Issues: Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, clammy skin, and muscle cramps and spasms.

Taylor said people also should pay careful attention to dizziness, light-headedness, dehydration and feeling like they are about to pass out. People who begin to experience symptoms should move to a cooler area and drink plenty of water, she said.

Precautions include:

•wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing made from breathable material, such as cotton,

•staying hydrated,

•taking frequent breaks,

•avoiding strenuous activities,

•and using air conditioning.

At work: People whose jobs require them to work outside should also take special precautions.

Brian Reigart, a repairman who works in York County for PennDOT, said he and his crew work eight-hour shifts that include an hour break.

When someone does not feel well, he or she is told to sit down, drink water and sit in one of the air-conditioned vehicles to cool down. He said he buys water and a 20-pound bag of ice to make sure there is enough for everyone.

"We've been lucky no one's passed out. People listen," Reigart said.