Temperatures set to spike, doctor warns of heat exhaustion risk

Heat indexes later in the week will make temperatures feel like 100 degrees. (WZTV)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As temperatures and humidity levels are set to increase in Middle Tennessee this week, so will the risk for heat stroke and exhaustion.

“The sun is stronger than all of us, and we ought to respect it,” Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine Chairman Dr. Corey Slovis said.

With summer sports and activities in full swing, doctors are reminding families to stay hydrated and keep an eye out for the warning signs of heat exhaustion.

“If you start feeling different, light-headed, can’t concentrate, have trouble with your thoughts, feel weak, feel dizzy, it’s time to get out of the sun,” Dr. Slovis said.

He also warned that if not treated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which is a more serious condition.

While Dr. Slovis said infants and elderly people are most at risk for heat exhaustion, teens and young adults in sports also need to take extra care at practice.

“Some of the worst things I’ve seen are athletes who really feel they can beat the heat and try to run through heat exhaustion and come into heat stroke,” Dr. Slovis said.

That’s why Scott Reynolds says he makes sure his 14-year-old son stays hydrated during sporting events.

“Constantly aware of how hot it is, and that he constantly has a water bottle with him, a Gatorade, or something to replenish his electrolytes,” Reynolds said.

“Every break we get, stay in the shade, out of the sun, shoes off, stay as cool as you can be, stay hydrated,” parent Brandy Bradley said.

As the temperatures continue to rise in Middle TN, some children in a local summer youth program helped the homeless community beat the heat as well Tuesday.

“By giving them water and something to eat to survive this hot weather,” nine year old Tasia Cortner said.

Dr. Slovis also reminding the public to never leave children or animals in vehicles, especially during extreme heat.

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