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No Relief From the Heat

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No Relief From the Heat

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Health, Local News, News.
July 13, 2011

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Parts of Oklahoma are expected to enter another day of temperatures into the triple digits as the heat wave stretches from the Sooner State to the Atlantic.

The National Weather Service is issuing heat advisories and excessive heat warning’s for most of the state today.

The National Weather Service says parts of Oklahoma have seen nearly two weeks straight of highs exceeding 100 degrees.

Meteorologist Kevin Brown says it could be awhile before there’s any relief.

“There is a chance for maybe some additional cloud cover or storms to move in from the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, but the chances really aren’t high enough to get optimistic about that.”

Brown says even in the parts of the state where it doesn’t reach 100 degrees for air temperature the humidity can make it feel even hotter.

He says prolonged exposure to these conditions could dehydrate a person without even being aware of it.

“May not feel thirsty, may not feel all that weak, but it can hit you with heat exhaustion and if you’re out in it too long for a period of time you can get heat stroke which is even worse.”

The State Department of Health is urging extreme caution for anyone who has to be out in this heat to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks.

Medical Director of Protective Health Services Tim Cathey says symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, dizziness and nausea.

But, he says untreated a person can move from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.

“Now heat stroke is when you see people who may become unconscious or confused and their body temperature is so much higher above 105, 106 and that is a serious health problem and those people sometimes can die or have lifelong brain injuries.”

Cathey says the most deadly situation with the heat involves children trapped in cars.

He says a child’s body temperature increases three to five times faster than an adult’s, and 100 degrees outside can increase to 140 in a car within a matter of minutes.

“Temperature in the first 15 minutes greatly can increase especially if the interior of the car is dark it will increase even quicker. Even if the windows are rolled down a couple of inches that’s not enough there’s not enough air moving through the car so it becomes like an oven.”

Recently two children, a 3-year-old Norman boy and an 8-year-old boy in Cyril died after being trapped in vehicles.

The Medical Examiner estimates up to six people might have died of heat-related causes since the extreme temperatures started.

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