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Keep Safe When the Temperature Soars!

Hot weather can cause major health problems including death. It is very important that you know the warning signs of heat related illness and take precautions to prevent them.

Nashville, Ark. – Outside temperatures are heating up and there seems to be no relief in sight. Hot weather can cause major health problems including death. It is very important that you know the warning signs of heat related illness and take precautions to prevent them.

            Normally, the body cools itself by sweating; however, when the temperature and humidity are extremely high, sweating cannot maintain the body’s normal temperatures. When the body’s core temperature rises, the blood chemistry can change and internal organs, including the brain and kidneys, can be damaged.

            Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are the most serious heat-related conditions. Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to excessive loss of water and salt contained in perspiration. The warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, dizziness, headache and nausea or vomiting. Left untreated, heat exhaustion may progress to heatstroke, which has the following symptoms:

  • Core body temperature above 106 degrees
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Profuse sweating (sometimes)
  • Severe headache
  • Unconsciousness

            If you or a person you are with exhibits these warning signs, action must be taken immediately. It is important to lower the person’s body temperature as quickly as possible. People can do this by drinking a cool, non-alcoholic beverage, moving to the shade or inside an air-conditioned building, resting and taking a cool shower, bath or even sponge bath.

            To help prevent heat exhaustion and possible heat stroke take these precautions:

  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar
  • Avoid very cold drinks, hot foods and heavy meals
  • Cut down on outdoor exercise during peak daytime temperatures
  • Drink plenty of water! Increase water intake during times of exercise. Consider drinking sports drinks during exercise to replace salt and minerals.
  • Limit outdoor activities to early morning and evening hours.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.

            For more information on preventing heat-related illnesses, contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Recipe of the Week

            Here is a great recipe to help you enjoy fresh summer squash. If you don’t have any in your garden, you can pick some up at the Farmers Market!

Summer Squash with Basil Couscous

2 cups chicken broth

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup couscous

1 cup zucchini squash, diced

1 cup yellow summer squash, diced

1 cup basil, slivered

¼ cup almonds, toasted and sliced

            In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Stir in salt and couscous, and then remove from heat. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. Sauté the zucchini and yellow squash in the remaining oil. Add vegetables, almonds and basil to couscous, mix well.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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