Extra coping skills needed for heat wave

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — “I would say really hot and humid—maybe even dangerously hot.”

7News Meteoroligist Emily Goodman says the humidity affects the body’s cooling system.

“It makes it really difficult to allow the sweat to evaporate from your body because the air is so moist,” she noted. “So the high humidity and heat leaves you at that really oppressive state that almost makes you miserable.”

Health officials say sunscreen can actually help you sweat.

“It protects your skin from burning,” explained Rob Sproul, deputy director of the Belmont County Health Department. “When your skin burns, it loses its effective ability to cool your body.”

Drinking water is still the best defense.

“You should drink water as often as you can,” Sproul said. “When you feel thirsty, it’s too late.”

At the Blame My Roots Festival in Belmont County, they have water for the outside of your body as well.

“We have water cool-off zones that kind of double as a shower,” said festival Coordinator Chris Dutton.

“They’re outdoor water spigots and we have 24 of those here on site.”

They also have drinking water stations at each gate. And they say it’s a good idea to bring your own shade.

“Really dust off that canopy and bring it out here because there’s a whole canopy area for those,” Dutton added.

They say hats provide shade, but they have to be the right kind.

“You want to go with a straw hat or one that’s going to vent to let the heat out so it doesn’t cause you to overheat,” said Sproul.

Many people use a cooling scarf that they activate with cool water.

“Cooling scarves keep your body cool and they keep your temperature down,” Sproul said.

“It helps eliminate a lot of the heat right around your head and face, and typically that’s where we get overheated,” added Emily Goodman.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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