SSM Health offers heat safety tips amid unseasonably warm weather

MADISON, Wis. — With unseasonably warm weather continuing into the later part of the week, SSM Health is reminding people to be aware of heat illnesses and how to prevent them.

Dr. Andrew Foster, an emergency room physician with SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, said anyone can get sick from the heat, no matter how old or healthy they are.

Signs that someone may have spent too much time in the heat include dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, feeling lightheaded or feeling weak and tired. Risks depend on age and other health factors.

“It literally can be minutes to hours for people to start feeling those effects, especially if they’re doing physical work. It can happen pretty quickly,” Foster said.

It’s important to stay cool, he said, especially when working outdoors.

“If you have a job that you’re working outdoors, (make) sure you’re taking frequent breaks, keeping yourself well hydrated, you’re monitoring for signs of overheating, you’re wearing light clothes and sunscreen,” he said.

If none of those steps help a person cool down, Foster said they should head to the emergency room.