Mid-Southerners working to avoid heat exhaustion

Baseball teams trying to stay cool
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - The heat hits you the moment you step outside, but imagine playing baseball in this kind of weather.

Teams in town for a big tournament don't have a choice. They're called the Boys of Summer, but players and their families at the Dizzy Dean Baseball World Series at Snowden Grove in Southaven were playing defense against the heat, as well as their opponents on the field.

"The seats, they get really hot," Taylor Tipton said. "We gotta like bring our tents out. It's really, really hot."

Tipton came from Canton, Georgia, and is in town for the World Series to watch her younger brother play.

"We're really serious about drinking lots of water and staying cool," Tipton said.

"It's been pretty warm," Matthew Lee said. "We just have to keep them hydrated, keep the cool rags on their neck, stuff like that. But, give them Gatorade, something like that to keep them going."

Lee is in town from Chattanooga.

"Probably getting softer in our old age, but the kids don't think about it," Lee said. "They don't pay attention to it."

Jacob Whaley, with Southaven Parks Department, said staff at the park have also been looking out for each other and taking steps to stay safe.

"Usually we have people going around like in golf carts. They give away Gatorade, stuff like that," Whaley said.

But Lee said a few people have not been able to handle the heat.

"She said she didn't lose consciousness, but she kinda, she had to lay down, nearly passed out," Lee said. "We got her out, got her hydrated, got her cooled down and she was fine."

But, between water jugs everywhere, plenty of shade, misting fans, and even ice cream, everyone is trying to keep cool in the midst of the heat.

"Make sure that everybody's got an option, you know." Lee said. "There's not a possibility of them not having something to drink."

Nothing else to do but sweat it out, until they can all head home.

Dangers of heat:

We are in a stretch of intense heat across the Mid-South with highs in the mid to upper 90s and heat index values from 105-110 degrees. That can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke for some. Below is a good description of both and what symptoms to look for with each. This information comes from familydoctor.org.

What is heat exhaustion?

  • Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot. It can be caused by physical exercise or hot weather. You may experience:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Feeling weak and/or confused
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine, which indicates dehydration

What should I do if I think I have heat exhaustion?

If you think you have heat exhaustion, get out of the heat quickly. Rest in a building that has air-conditioning. If you can't get inside, find a cool, shady place. Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks (such as soda). These can make heat exhaustion worse. Take a cool shower or bath, or apply cool water to your skin. Take off any tight or unnecessary clothing.

If you do not feel better within 30 minutes, you should contact your doctor. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can progress to heatstroke.

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is when the internal temperature of the body reaches 104°F. It can happen when your body gets too hot during strenuous exercise or when exposed to very hot temperatures, or it can happen after heat exhaustion isn't properly treated. Heatstroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. Heatstroke can cause damage to your organs and brain. In extreme cases, it can kill you.

Symptoms of heatstroke

  • High fever (104°F or higher)
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness and feeling light-headed
  • A flushed or red appearance to the skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Feeling confused, anxious or disoriented
  • Seizures

Keep in mind, if the heat index reaches or exceeds 110 degrees, excessive heat warnings may be issued by the National Weather Service for those areas of the Mid-South late week. Watch for those warnings and if they are issued, limit intense physical activities outside.

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