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Too hot to handle: heat stress and ways to avoid its danger

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs

Temperatures are already heating up in Middle Georgia.

As the mercury rises, the potential for heat stress incidents does too.

“Simply put, heat stress is the point when the body has absorbed too much heat, which can also be increased by the clothing worn, workload and the actual individual,” said Marcus Bowens, an industrial hygienist in the 78th Aerospace Medicine Squadron’s Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight.

Heat stress symptoms include dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration), profuse sweating, headache, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, fainting, and muscle cramps.

Capt. Daniel Baseley, 78th Bioenvironmental Flight Ops officer, said while no one is immune to heat stress, people who are more vulnerable are those who have not acclimated to the heat.

During the hot summer months in particular, which in the south can be anywhere between April to October, people should know what to do if the heat becomes too hot to handle.

“If you feel any symptoms of heat stress you should get out of the heat and rest,” Bowens said. “Also, drink plenty fluids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, remove excessive clothes, apply cooling measures like ice towels, fans or taking a cool shower.”

Robins uses education and implements a work/rest cycle and the flag conditions, which the BEF monitors and tracks, to help prevent heat-related illnesses.

For more information on heat stress, visit the 78th Air Base Wing’s Safety SharePoint site at https://org2.eis.af.mil/sites/21121/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/.