TOPEKA, Kan, (KSNT) – It’s not officially summer but it feels like it. With hot temperatures that can happen this time of year, we get some pretty high heat index values and that’s really the number you should be paying attention to. What can happen to your body is far more dictated by how high the heat index is and how much of a strain it will have on your body.

Heat related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat rashes are common during the summer but are avoidable.

“In the United States the actual instance of heat related illness and heat related deaths have actually increased in the past five years versus previous times that it has been measured and studied,” says Dr. Patrick Raney of the Cotton O’ Neal Medical Clinic. “So even though there’s more education, it seems to be more frequent and nobody is really certain as far as the exact reasoning behind that.”

But these are totally avoidable. To avoid a stroke, make sure to wear looser and light clothing that can reflect the sun’s rays. Strokes happen with a high body temperature of 106 degrees or higher. Some of its side effects include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness.

Sometimes it helps to have physical activity before you head outdoors. It helps prepare your body for the conditions.

If you work outside and you’re battling the heat every day, carry ice packs and place them underneath your armpits to stay cool. But the two most obvious ways to beat the heat are to drink plenty of water and find shade wherever possible. Limit your physical activity and ask for help or call 911.

You can find more information here. Or call 785-354-5225.