Lake City Reporter: Take steps to beat the heat

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Summer is officially here and while the sunshine is fun to play in, people who work outdoors should take extra steps to stay cool in the sultry heat.

Information from Florida’s Office of Vital Statistics (FOVS) estimated the number of direct temperaturerelated deaths from 1979-1999 was listed as 249.

By taking proper precautions, people who work outside can avoid being such a statistic.

Lake City Risk Management Director Gene Bullard will host an annual safety meeting on Tuesday for his employees who work outdoors.

“We encourage our employees to stay hydrated and take a break every couple of hours,” he said. “We also supply them with Gatorade and encourage them to wear hats and light-colored clothing.”

Bullard also tells his employees to try to avoid alcohol and not overeating at lunch.

“Making our employees aware of what heat stroke symptoms are is one of our main objectives,” he said. “We try to schedule many projects early in day or late in the evening to avoid the daytime heat.”

Cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are just some of the results of overexposure.

Heat stroke symptoms can include dry, hot, red skin, headache, a rapid pulse, confusion and dizziness.

The condition can occur at different levels, said Dr. Stanley Janasiewicz, associate director of emergency services at Shands at Lake Shore.

“The most common level we encounter from working in the heat is heat exhaustion, where people become dehydrated due to their loss of electrolytes and electrolyte abnormalities,” he said.

“People with heat exhaustion feel weak and nauseated.”

Janasiewicz recommends getting in a cool area and regaining fluids, salt and potassium.

He said that sport drinks are good to replace minerals and nutrients.

The more serious level is heat stroke.

“The first sign is a climb in body temp temperature to the point that the body loses its ability to control its own temperature and you stop sweating,” Janasiewicz said.

“You can start having seizures and calling 9-1-1 is necessary at this point.”

Like Bullard, he agrees that heavy meals can cause problems along with alcohol.

In excess, alcohol can block enzymes in the blood and can alter the body’s mechanisms, Janasiewicz said.

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

By | 2017-04-28T07:32:44+00:00 June 24th, 2005|Categories: Blog, News, Samples|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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