With early hot weather, heat-related illnesses more likely

Our bodies take time to acclimate to the heat. With early 90-degree weather, we’re more likely to see heat-related illness.

A lot of lifting and moving goes into preparing for the McCracken County Fair. The event’s chairwoman, Denise Cicardo, and other volunteers have done all that work in the heat.

"When you’re out in the barn, setting up cattle pens or goat pens, it gets real warm even with the ceiling fans when it’s 95 degrees outside. It’s pretty warm," Cicardo said.

That’s why they are prepared with plenty of water on hand. Once outdoor activities start next week, people can use the air conditioned building to cool down. Another event, PaBREWcah Beerfest will bring people outdoors this weekend.

"Folks who might have too much to drink are going to miss out on early signs of heat illness," said Mercy Regional EMS Medical Director Dr. Irvin Smith.

Smith advises you to stay alert.

"If you are going to be out at an event in the sun this weekend, find a shady spot you can step into frequently throughout the day," Smith said.

Smith also says to wear light clothing and drink a lot of water. He says if your urine is dark, it means you need to re-hydrate.

With all of the money from the fair going to local charities, Cicardo says the work in the heat is worth it. "By the time it’s all said and done, the money we get to give away, yeah, it’s a really good feeling," Cicardo said.

Heat-related illnesses you need to be aware of include heat cramps. Your body loses fluids and your muscles start cramping. Heat exhaustion is more serious. Symptoms include nausea and dizziness. If you experience either of these, call for help and drink water.

If not, you could suffer from a heat stroke, which can be deadly. People with medical training will be on hand at both events.