LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Millions of Americans are struggling to beat the heat this Summer.
Triple-digit temperatures are sweeping across multiple states and for those working outside in the heat, like road crews and roofers, it can be especially dangerous.
Luckily doctors say there are steps you can take to stay cool.
Kenneth Jarman and Mike Hill are two transportation operators with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) who say they are noticing the impact of these high temps.
“Oh, it’s warm, I mean you get the asphalt and you’ve got the sun coming down on you working on the road and stuff,” said Jarman.
“People don’t realize being out here, how hot it can get, the humidity is what’s so brutal,” added Hill.
They say they’re often working outside in peak heat– and while they do take steps to stay cool, Hill says sometimes they just can’t beat the heat.
“It don’t take long, you know, to get over hot, and before you realize it, you’re exhausted,” said Hill.
Hill and Jarman say they have special gear they use in the summer to keep cool including breathable clothing and cooling cloths they put in their hard hats– adding that they try to take breaks and drink water as much as possible.
Stephanie Lareau is an emergency physician with Carilion Clinic. She shares some of the risks of being in the heat for too long.
“Dehydration, it can lead to a lot of muscle cramping and fatigue, can cause people to become dizzy and actually pass out, and then the most serious thing we worry about is something called heat stroke,” said Lareau.
She says a heat stroke is when the body gets so overheated that it cannot cool down and can mimic symptoms of a stroke and sometimes even be fatal.
To prevent heat-related illnesses, Lareau shared you should be drinking plenty of water, taking breaks out of the sun, she says even wearing light-colored clothing can help you stay cool.
“Pay attention to what your body is telling you, when you start to feel bad like you need to drink water or like you’re getting overheated, don’t try to push through this. this is the time to actually get out and listen to your body,” said Lareau.
Lareau adds that if heat-related symptoms do progress, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room.