CSRA - If you've stepped outside at all in recent days, you've noticed the brutal heat across the CSRA.

The sun can pose some serious health risks the longer you're out in the elements, which is why it's important to keep yourself and loved ones cool.

While heat related emergencies go along with summer, Shawn Fagan, Chief Medical Officer at JMS Burn Center, says you can try to prevent them. Finding shade, wearing sunblock, appropriate clothing and making sure those around you are hydrated is key.

“Getting good rest, being hydrated, wearing the proper clothes when you go out, but, more importantly, understand that you’re out in this hot heat and if it’s the first time you’re out during the summer," Fagan says. "Take some breaks, stay well hydrated so that you can have a wonderful day.”

With a heat index climbing to triple digits, Fagan says you should be aware of what it can do to the body. Muscle cramps and dehydration can quickly progress into heat exhaustion, which is associated with mental status changes, elevated heart rate and excessive sweating.

"The body then goes into a state where it’s not able to cool itself, you actually do see that decreased sweating, your heart rate isn’t rapid, it starts becoming more shallow-that’s when the core body temperature is raising up to about 104 degrees, which becomes a medical emergency.”

For those who may need a place to go or assistance to stay cool, Fagan recommends cooling centers. There are a number of community centers throughout the city serving as cooling centers.

Fox54 checked in with the Love Center in Downtown Augusta, a nonprofit that serves as a day shelter and cooling center to the community.

“Here they can come and be able to receive fluids to keep their body retained," Wayne Jordan, the general manager says. "We keep a very climate atmosphere where they’ll be able to keep calm, keep cool, here inside the building.”

Copyright 2024 WFXG. All rights reserved.