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Most heat-related illnesses occur in July, August, says CDC

Posted at 5:53 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 06:53:33-04

WACO, TX — According to the CDC, July and August are when the most heat-related illnesses or deaths have been recorded.

Younger children, and people over 60, are the most susceptible to being affected by the heat in a negative way. So make sure to catch the symptoms early if they aren't acting normal and look pale.

It usually starts with heat exhaustion, but if it gets bad enough, that can turn into a heat stroke.

"Heat stoke is probably less common than just in general heat exhaustion, heat cramps just dehydration from being outside and other exertional heat illnesses," said Revathi Jyothindran, emergency medicine doctor at Baylor Scott & White.

The best thing to do if you see someone on track to a heat-related illness is to get them some water, shade and a cool wet towel to put over their head.

Jyothindran says they see patients daily for heat-related illnesses, up to three patients a day. Thankfully, less people come in for a heat stroke, but it's still something they see frequently.

Sometimes even a non-physical activity can cause a heat-related illness.

"We have had patients who were just sitting out on their porch and that brings them in for heat cramps or heat exhaustion," Jyothindran said.

According to the CDC, between 1999-2010, Texas, California and Arizona accounted for 43 percent of heat-related deaths and 81 percent of heat-related deaths occurred in urban areas.

From the same 10 year period, over 8,000 heat-related deaths were reported in the United States. With 72 percent of those deaths, the underlying cause was exposure to excessive heat. Heat was a contributing factor in the remaining 28 percent.

For more information on how to treat and prevent a heat-related illness, visit the National Safety Council website.