Doctors warn of heat-related illnesses as temperatures go up

The hot temperatures are sending people to emergency rooms across the Carolinas for heat related illnesses.

"It can happen quickly just being outside for as little as 30 minutes can cause problems," said Dr. Bryant Allen, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Atrium Health.

Allen is already starting to see these problems in the emergency department and it’s just the end of May.

"I saw several patients just yesterday with everything from heat rash, heat exhaustion to the early signs of heat stroke so we are already seeing it," said Allen.

It's important, he says, to listen to your body if you have to be outside.

“If you are increasingly tired, thirsty or find yourself feeling light headed those are all reasons to stop and get out of the sun immediately,” said Allen.

Find somewhere cool to sit down and drink cold water. If you’re not careful heat exhaustion could lead to heat stroke which is a medical emergency.

The best protection Allen says is prevention. If you can schedule outdoor activities in the morning or evening and always wear light colored and loose fit clothing, and always hydrate.

“If you’re thinking about hydrating then you’re probably under hydrated,” said Allen. Those most at risk for heat related illnesses are adults over 65 and children under four. It’s important to wear sunscreen. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated.

Dr. Allen says if you have any concerns the team in the emergency department is always ready to help.

For more on extreme heat warnings from the CDC, click here