That's the warning the Scioto County Health Department has for Scioto County Fair visitors this week.
With temperatures hitting 98 degrees on Tuesday and no relief expected soon, Health Department nurse Ruth Montavon offered a few tips to ensure a safe fair visit.
“The best thing to do is get well-hydrated beforehand and stay hydrated while you're out in the heat,” she said on Tuesday. “Don't stay out for long periods of time. If you feel overheated, get someplace cool and rest. But drink plenty of fluids.”
A first-aid building is located near the fairgrounds administration office for those needing medical attention. The building is beside the north entrance not far from the bandstand.
Besides the Health Department, local rescue squad personnel staff the first-aid building.
Several people needed help on Monday, the first day of the fair. Montavon was preparing the first-aid building on Tuesday to treat more people.
“We give people immediate first-aid and help with hydration,” she said. “We give them some Gatorade or other fluids, and help them get cool before it turns into a serious situation like a heat stroke.”
Montavon said water is the best thing to drink at first, followed by Gatorade or other liquids with minerals if there is a loss of electrolytes.
A heat stroke is nothing to fool around with.
“That's when the body stops sweating,” Montavon said. “That's a life-threatening situation, so we want to avoid that. The body goes into shock and shuts down. You pass out usually or are unconscious.”
But there often is a warning before one is stricken with a heat stroke.
“Heat exhaustion is along the route of a heat stroke,” Montavon said. “That's where your body starts to sweat profusely. You get sick and usually faint, and just get very weak.”
For those reaching the point of heat exhaustion, Montavon said to get to someplace cool, and use ice packs and cold water to avoid escalating into heat stroke.
“And make sure you are very well-hydrated,” she said.
The fair will continue through Saturday.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.