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Beat the heat: How Northeast Wisconsinites can stay safe and prepare for rising temperatures

Posted at 10:09 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 23:09:46-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — With temperatures on the rise in Northeast Wisconsin, many people are fighting to stay cool. Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW Health says preparation is the No. 1 key to staying healthy amid warmer weather.

"Especially in the summer, we just want to get out there," he said. "We want to have a good time. And we don't always think through what we might need to do. And on a lot of days, you can get away with that."

For those on kayaks, canoes and small crafts? "My best advice is to make sure you have something to stay hydrated," Pothof said.

He says you can do that by drinking water or sports drinks. It's also a good idea to have sunscreen handy.

"As you get dehydrated, it messes up the concentration of your electrolytes and getting cramps is a pretty common early warning sign that says 'hey, you gotta take a timeout,'" Pothof said.

The chief quality officer also tell us it's important to be careful of alcohol consumption, because the body needs to retain as much fluid as possible.

But he doesn't see a lot of severe heat-related illnesses.

"If you avoid those or if your ignore those early warning signs, the next things that typically happen are headache, nausea and it can get to vomiting," Pothof said.

Bellin Health Nurse Practitioner Brittanie Pinter advises those outdoors to keep their skin covered.

"Nobody wants to be wearing sweatshirts or anything like that, but they do make a lot of long-sleeve T-shirts that protect your skin but also help keep you cool," she said.

But sometimes, being outside is unavoidable. On a humid, almost 100-degree day, she says drinking over 64 ounces of water and getting to an air-conditioned building can make all the difference.

"If you need to do work outside like mowing the lawn, [try] to do it either earlier in the morning or later at night to try to avoid that hottest part of the day," Pinter said.