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      How to avoid the effects of heat and dehydration

      When the temperature soars, so does the risk of heat exhaustion or stroke. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be underestimated. Dr. Anthony Kamerschen, Family Physician at OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba, says, "The elderly and the very young, such as babies and infants, are at the greatest risk of suffering heat exhaustion and heat stroke, just because they have the hardest time controlling their temperatures." "Typically, I stay cool by always having a water bottle with me," said Katie Pinar, of Escanaba, who runs up to 35 miles per week. "And then the night before, if I know I'm going to run, I try to hydrate more at night." When the body gets overheated, Dr. Kamerschen says, "Synapses, or the brain's electrical activities, slows down tremendously, and so that kind of takes its toll on everything that the brain controls." He recommends drinking water on extremely hot days over any other type of beverage. He says the body will extrapolate water even from juice and milk, because the body needs water in every one of its functions. Dr. Kamerschen recommends staying in the shade as much as possible and advises not to stand outside on a hot day for long periods of time. "Heat exhaustion is where you're going to have the warning signs such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea and a fast heart rate. Heat stroke is where the body's temperature gets over 104 degrees, and it can be a serious medical condition." Dr. Kamerschen also advises against locking one's knees or holding them rigid. "Locking your knees causes you to pass out. It has to do with the posture, and it's more difficult for the body to pump blood back up to the brain." He says to take shelter from the heat, sit under an umbrella, and sip water throughout the day.