Lynchburg Paramedic Offers Tips to Stay Safe in Summer Heat

Lynchburg, VA - The summer heat is only getting started, and that means we need to take extra precautions to stay safe under the sun.

Josh Phillips is a paramedic with the Lynchburg Fire Department. He and his crew have dealt with their fair share of calls related to extreme heat.

Phillips has some safety tips to prevent things like heat exhaustion. The most important rule is to drink a lot of water.

"I think hydration is the big thing," Phillips said. "As your body begins to compensate for that heat, a lot of people forget that it's important to have water with them, have other things with them that they can replace that water and electrolytes that they're losing from sweating."

With outdoor festivals in town almost every weekend, it's also smart to wear light clothing.

"Maybe they can wear some lighter color clothes versus some dark color clothes to keep them cooler," said Phillips.

He says there are common symptoms for someone experiencing heat exhaustion.

"Sometimes they'll be complaining of a headache, dizziness, they'll get lightheaded. They may have some weakness," said Phillips.

If that happens, Phillips says to get out of the sun and find shade or go inside where there is air conditioning. If the dizziness doesn't go away and you start to get confused, it could be a warning sign to call for help.

"They may even feel like they're going to pass out....that may be the point to seek medical attention," Phillips said.

Phillips also has an important reminder for parents: Do not leave children in the car even if it's for a couple of minutes. The same goes for pets, it can get extremely hot for them as well.