MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabamians are no strangers to heat and humidity, especially during the summer months.
The Alabama heat can be dangerous, even deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year, and children and elderly people are the most at risk.
Dr. Paula Shelton, a physician at Baptist East, said those who will be spending an adequate amount of time outdoors this summer need to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.
“Hydration is going to be very important. You have to keep in mind that you’re going to have to take breaks and drink plenty of fluids," said Shelton. “Keep in the shade as much as possible and listen to your body as well.”
Shelton said spending too much time in the heat could lead to heat exhaustion, or worse, heatstroke.
“Heat exhaustion is kind of the precursor to a heat stroke," Shelton said.
She said some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion are: a headache, a weak or rapid pulse, fatigue, feeling faint, heavy sweating, muscle cramps and or nausea.
Shelton said heat exhaustion is less severe than heat stroke, but if not treated, heat exhaustion can turn into a heat stroke.
The symptoms of a heatstroke are: a high temperature, confusion, flushed skin, nausea, rapid breathing and or vomiting.
If you experience any of the symptoms of heatstroke, Shelton says it’s important to go to the hospital immediately because, if not treated, heatstroke can be deadly.
If you work outside, your chances of heat exhaustion and heatstroke increase.
Daquandra Campbell owns Lawn King, a lawn service company in Montgomery. Campbell knows that working outside puts him at a higher rise for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. That’s why he takes extra precautions.
“I make sure to stay hydrated," said Campbell. "I always have plenty of water.”
Campbell also makes sure to take frequent breaks.
“I blast the air in my car and drink my water," Campbell said.
According to Campbell, the hottest time of the day is at 3 p.m. That’s why he tries to not cut grass during that hour.
“I schedule doing yards closer to the morning time than the evening time," he said.
Campbell has been in the lawn care business for five years. During that time, he came up with an unconventional way to beat the heat.
“I sweat a lot, so I carry extra t-shirts with me. I keep two in the cooler, on ice, in a Ziploc bag," he said. “That way, once I sweat this one out, I change this one out, put it on top of my hood and let it dry. Once it dries, I fold it up, put it back in the Ziploc bag and repeat the process."