Doctor offers tips to stay cool during heat advisory

4:28 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - As the temperatures climb into the 90s this week, there is concern about the public understanding of the dangers of over-heating the body.

Air conditioning is the modern answer to the problem, but not everyone has air conditioning in their homes.

The more important thing for Minnesotans to do this week is to stay hydrated, doctors said. They also advised drinking plenty of liquids, especially water.

"One of the ways the body regulates temperature is by losing heat and if there's extreme humidity outside, then it cannot lose the heat from within the core," explained Dr. Kumar Belani, a University of Minnesota Professor of Anesthesiology and Heat expert. "So, the body temperature does not effectively maintain the same temperature that it should."

Belani referred to websites that offer good advice on dealing with the week's extreme temperatures. Click here for ways to prevent heat stroke and here for points on staying hydrated.

Belani emphasized that staying indoors might not be the answer for the air conditioning-challenged.

"If you are indoors, it could be even worse because there is no breeze," Belani said. "Fans can make a huge difference because they actually help facilitate the heat loss from outside by the skin. The skin is an important organ and it keeps, plays a major role in maintaining body temperature. So, it is good to keep the skin cool and to let it lose heat in the summer."

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