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The University of Kansas Health System ranked nationally in 8 specialties on U.S. News & World Report's 2017-18 Best Hospitals List

Kansas City Heat Wave Creates Medical Concerns

Published: 07/14/2015

KANSAS CITY, Kan.— With temperatures climbing into the 90s, doctors at The University of Kansas Hospital are warning area residents to take current health warnings seriously.

"Heat and humidity this high frustrates the body's natural way to cool itself. The elderly, the very young and those with health conditions are usually the first to feel the consequences of a heat wave, but this prolonged forecast for high heat and humidity can have an impact on the healthiest people if there is long term exposure to the heat," says Lee Norman, MD, chief medical officer of The University of Kansas Hospital.

Dr. Norman says hydration is critical for anyone out in the heat for any amount of time. Sports drinks which provide electrolytes are preferred, but water is also important. He urges people to avoid alcohol, drinks with caffeine and drinks with carbonation.

Dr. Norman says paying attention to urination is essential. If you are not urinating, or if it's a dark color, you need to concentrate on hydration.

"Head to the hospital if you are not urinating, are becoming confused or disoriented. If you're exhibiting the early warning signs, get hydrated. If you are home and not in air conditioning, take cool baths or dab yourself with a wet towel in front of a fan," warns Dr. Norman.

Tips for staying healthy in the heat

Do:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Drink water.
  • Take frequent urination breaks.
  • Urinate before and after workout.
  • Avoid being outside between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Don't:

  • Wear dark clothes that don't wick away the sweat.
  • Drink energy drinks with caffeine and taurine.
  • Delay getting fluids.
  • Drink so little you can't urinate.

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