Beating the Heat and Staying Safe

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, July 19 2013 at 6:14 PM, Updated: Fri, July 19 2013 at 6:40 PM

Get ready for the heat, because it's already here and will be staying through the weekend.

Dr. Mona Mcardle said people will need to hydrate up.

"We need to drink a lot more water than we think," she said.

According to the USDA, women need 2.7 liters of water every single day. That's equivalent to more than a half-gallon of milk. The recommended water intake for men? 3.7 liters every day which is about a gallon. However, in hot weather, doctors say people should drink even more water.

"That is a lot of water and some of it does come through food," said Dr. Mcardle.

The USDA says water can come from food like fruits, vegetables and meat.

The doctor said there are also drinks and foods to avoid.

"Alcohol can make heat stroke and heat exhaustion happen significantly faster," began Dr. Mcardle.

"Foods to avoid is the salty foods," she continued.

Drinking or eating the wrong things can mean a faster track to serious illnesses like heat stroke.

Feeling fatigued may be a sign of early heat exhaustion. If you're feeling dry mouth or a little confused, then drink some water and get to a cool place. Dr. Mcardle said the very young and old will feel the hit a bit more.

She said parents will be able to tell if their infant is dehydrated if the baby does not have a wet diaper in three hours. If a young child does not go to the bathroom in eight hours, Dr. Mcardle says they might be dehydrated.

In addition, the doctor said don't automatically reach for the sports drinks, they have lots of extra sugar and calories that may fill you up and make you drink less water.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, to help you determine whether or not you're dehydrated, you can pinch a bit of your skin on top of your hand. When you let it go, if it springs back quickly you're probably okay. However, if your skin takes a while to return to normal, you may be dehydrated.

In addition, a doctor at the Community Health Center in Medford said the World Health Organization has a good re-hydration formula. In one-liter of water, add one three-finger pinch of sugar (using thumb and three fingers), one two-finger pinch of baking soda, one one-finger pinch of salt and one one-finger pinch of "no slat" or potassium chloride (optional).

 

         

 

 

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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