Doctors encourage outdoor workers to stay cool and hydrated this summer

Doctors encourage outdoor workers to stay cool and hydrated this summer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Summers in South Mississippi offer many chances to spend time outside, but there can be consequences for staying out in the heat for too long.

Doctors encourage outdoor workers to stay cool and well hydrated.

"You got to work your way into it, but right now it's not too bad," Repairman Lee McDonald said.

McDonald and his crew began repairing the roof to a USM door at 7:30 in the morning. He said he is used to working in the heat.

"When I know it's going to be real hot that day, I try to drink plenty of fluids before I start to work that day," McDonald said.

Across the street, George Fontana and his crew were improving the walkways of the campus.

"You get used to it after the years of being just out in it," Fontana said.

But he said sometimes the heat can be overwhelming.

"From all the sweat, you feel fatigue and a little agitated and just tired, it makes you feel tired," Fontana said.

Health Professionals like Dr. Joshua Hand with Merit Wesley Medical Group said as the temperatures rise, so do the risk of heat-related illnesses.

"Heat exhaustion is when you get overheated," Hand said. "You're generally going to notice symptoms where you become weak. Maybe a little nauseated. You're going to be sweating profusely."

He said there are many protective measures that can be taken.

"Staying very well hydrated. Most places have a covered area somewhere or fans on site or something, take a break," Hand said.

Hand said workers can wear lighter colored clothing because they will absorb less heat.

He also said if someone shows signs of heat exhaustion like excessive sweating and dizziness to call 911 or get them to a hospital as soon as possible.