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Avoid heat-related illness and dehydration during Utah’s heatwave

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Utah (ABC4 News) – Temperatures are expected to reach a potential 113 degrees in some parts of Utah this week, as the stat nears record-breaking August temps the likelihood of heat-related illness increases.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for the majority of Utah. An excessive heat warning is issued when there are consecutive days of above-average triple-digit temperatures.

As the heatwave continues Intermountain Healthcare clinicians are warning people to know the signs of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses.

Intermountain sports dietitian Ashley Hagensick said you can avoid heat-related illness and dehydration by being aware and following simple health tips.

Drinking plenty of water, eating a proper diet, and avoiding strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day, between 3 and 5 p.m., are some of the simplest ways to avoid having problems.

Hagensick said the most common misstep is not drinking enough fluids.

“Normally we recommend consuming half your body weight in ounces of fluid not just water,” said Hagensick. “When you get to temperatures this high and you’re outside, the body is going to sweat out even more, so you’ll have to replenish faster.”

Eating more fruits and vegetables will help too, they’re high in water content and count towards fluid consumption, especially seasonal favorites like melons, peaches, and grapes, Hagensick added.

There are several types of heat-related illnesses including, mild issues like heat rash or heat cramps, more extreme cases include heat exhaustion and heat stroke which can be fatal.

Symptoms for heat exhaustion and heatstroke include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you have any of these symptoms, Hagensick said it’s important to rest in a cool, shaded place, and drink plenty of water.

Physicians, clinicians, and experts encourage people to plan ahead and know that in temperatures like these people may have to deviate from their normal routine to avoid dehydration and heat illness.

Check out ABC4’s Pinpoint Weather for the latest forecast.

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