How Michiganders can stay safe, cool off as temperatures rise
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - On the first day of Michigan’s June heat wave, many people decided to stay indoors to beat the heat, while others went outside to enjoy it.
Doctors are warning people -- especially the elderly -- to listen to your body on hot days. There are real health concerns in hot weather.
Beatrice Jones, along with little Tylee, headed to beat the heat Tuesday a the Splash Pad. While Tylee was excited to cool off, Jones was looking forward to soaking up the sun.
“I like the heat, but she doesn’t,” Jones said. “We’ve been cool for so long, it’s about time we got some heat.”
Dr. Farhan Bhatti said why Jones and Tylee may have experienced the heat differently.
“As we grow older the compliance of our blood vessels changes, so the ability of our blood vessels to open and close changes,” Bhatti explained. “It makes it more difficult for an elderly person to regulate their core temperature compared to a younger person.”
Hydration is key on these hot days. Bhatti said people mistake the symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke for other illnesses far too often, especially in states like Michigan, which isn’t used to such high temperatures.
“People with certain medical problems will just write it off and say, ‘Oh, I feel light headed because my blood pressure might be low,’ or maybe folks with diabetes are very susceptible to temperature changes and will think, ‘My blood sugar is going low, let me just have a piece of candy or take a sip of juice to get my sugar up,’ and no, it’s because their core temperature is rising too fast,” Bhatti said. “It’s very common for people to minimize their symptoms until they’re in a dangerous situation.”
Bhatti said as long as you’re conscious of your exposure to the sun and are staying hydrated, you shouldn’t have a problem with taking little ones to the park.
“I like it,” Jones said. “We can go to the water park and she doesn’t get freezing cold. It’s nice.”
Additionally, Bhatti encourages people to drink a Gatorade to replenish their electrolytes as well.
- How Michiganders can keep their pets safe in the heat
- Keeping your home cool during Michigan’s extreme heat
- Beat the Heat: Cooling centers in the Lansing-Jackson area
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