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What to do if someone is suffering from heat-related illness

Australian Open Tennis
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 08:30:44-04

As the weather warms up, it's important to pay attention to your body and know the warning signs of a heat-related illness.

In Arizona, we have seen firsthand just how dangerous the rising temperatures can be. From the dozens of mountain rescues every year, to those experiencing homelessness who say just because the sun goes down, it doesn't mean it's cool enough to sleep outside.

The truth is, no matter where you are in Phoenix, even just walking to and from your car in a parking lot can put you at risk.

ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti described to ABC15 some of the symptoms you should look out for.

"You go from being lightheaded, to actually having a throbbing headache," Marvasti said. "Sweating is a cooling mechanism to keep your body cooler, but when your body realizes it doesn't have any water to spare it's not going to sweat anymore."

So what should you do if you come across someone who looks like they aren't feeling well and in need of help?

Marvasti says to check their pulse — if it's very rapid, that's enough to call 911. Move them into the shade or air conditioning, drench their clothes with cool water, and even put ice on parts of their body until help arrives. You can also use a wet towel on their neck or face.

Marvasti says you need to make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day and drinking plenty of water.

On average, he says you should be drinking about three liters of water a day. If you need to replenish your electrolytes, he recommends not drinking Gatorade because of the sugar. He says Pedialyte for kids can work. You can also mix apple juice with water.