August 18, 2009

Weekend warriors treated for heat illness

Physicians report seeing more weekend warriors being treated in emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses, a U.S. expert says.

In the past, the typical people who used to get in trouble were the ones who couldn't fend for themselves -- the very young and the very old, Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says in a statement. Now, young men and women who work in super-cool office environments during the week and then spend the weekends playing outdoors are getting into trouble because their bodies haven't had a chance to adapt to the hot weather.

To avoid treatment in an emergency room, Pepe advises:

-- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing.

-- Try to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening.

-- Stay in a well-ventilated area, even if you're working indoors.

-- Drink water, too much sugar and caffeine is not good, especially if outdoors.

-- Avoid alcohol. A cool beer or mixed drink might sound good but it only dehydrates you more.

-- Use a buddy system so you can keep an eye on each other.