The heat kills hundreds of people in this country each year, and sends countless more to the hospital. In most cases, lack of proper hydration was the cause.

By mid-summer, temperatures are sizzling and health experts say it could take a toll on your well-being.

“For us to get used to being out in the heat for a long period, it takes a few weeks to acclimate to that,” says Michael Marcus, a trauma program director with Lee Memorial Health System.

The Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital tracks trends within their trauma registry, and along with sports injuries, they see too many kids are having trouble taking the heat.

“The heat is seriously talked about, sports related injuries, those kinds of things, so that’s what we are primarily concerned about this time of year,” says Lee Memorial Health System trauma analyst Mark Tesoro.

It’s the very old and very young who are most at risk.

“We’re entering the summer, you’re gonna be working outside, you’re gonna be exercising outside. It’s keeping them adequately hydrated and out of that sun for too long time,” says Marcus.

Most children spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer. Because they have a larger surface area in relation to body mass, children often heat up faster than adults. So it’s important that they always have access to water.

“The CDC recommends that under 90 pounds, five ounces every twenty minutes of water. So if a child’s gulp is about a half an ounce, you need to have about ten good gulps every twenty minutes for a child to be hydrated correctly,” says Tesoro.

More than 300 Americans die from dehydration or heat-related illnesses every year. They are tragic deaths because they are preventable.

“Florida especially, we are a hot climate. It’s very, very easy to get dehydrated and overheated,” says Tesoro.

Swapping sodas for water and drinking before, during, and after outdoor activities should help you stay cool.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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