Healthy Living: Protecting against heat exhaustion and heat stroke

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With temperatures reaching triple digits in some parts of the West, doctors say it's important to watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Doctors say it's more important than ever to watch out for the signs of heat-related illnesses.

Muscle cramping, fatigue, headaches, nausea, fainting and vomiting can all be symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Heat stroke is the most extreme form and kills more than 600 Americans a year.

"If you have some underlying heart disease, it very well could be that significant stress from the heat, your body is trying to cool itself down," said. Dr. Eric Hill, an emergency room physician.  " (It) could put more stress on your heart and could cause a heart attack."

Doctors say in addition to staying hydrated, it's also essential to protect your skin if you're going to be out in the sun all day.

"But you can get really deep sunburns the longer you're exposed to things, and you start getting several degrees of blisters," said Dr. Hill. "And that's when it's really into that dermal layer of skin … very, very painful in nature. You have to look at the bottle and see how long it lasts, realizing that if you're going to be in the pool and doing stuff like that, some of those will wash off quicker."

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