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As summer temperatures rise, so do risks



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June 30, 2010 - Brittany Beard sweats for a living. At least, that's how she feels with the heat rising early this summer.

The 21-year-old Goodrich resident has worked at Miller Greenhouse, 6482 Perry Road Grand Blanc, for more than 7 years. She said this year's heat is just a little different than years before.

"It's hot, but it's always hot," she said. "What's weird is we're not used to it getting this hot this early."

Beard said the 80-90 degree weather is what she and the staff expect in July and August.

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She said the heat isn't healthy for the plants, and it doesn't feel healthy for her to work 30-hours-a-week in an environment that is made to keep the heat in.

Greenhouses may keep the heat in, but Ryan Schlesselman makes golf courses somewhere to go in the heat.

Schlesselman, Goodrich Country Club golf course superintendent, maintains the golf course grounds 55 hours a week.

"It's not hotter than usual," he said. "But I don't really notice. I get used to it when I'm outside 12 hours a day."

With the heat peaking early this year, the Michigan Department of Community Health advises that it's important to remember to plan daily activities around the sun.

The sun's rays can be especially dangerous between 10 a.m. and noon.

Unfortunately for Beard and Schlesselman, those are the hours they're busiest.

Schlesselman said the most important thing is not passing out.

"Hydration," he said. "Me and my crew drink a lot of water."

He also said to avoid pop because caffeinated drinks cause dehydration.

Most importantly, the MDCH advises to seek emergency medical treatment if symptoms of heat stroke, such as vomiting, decreased alertness and shallow breathing, persist.

nWhen experiencing dehydration, follow these tips:

nMove to a shaded or air-conditioned area;

nReplace fluids by drinking water;

nConsult a physician if symptoms persist or if there is an existing condition that could be complicated by increased fluid intake.

Heat cramps are another indication of a potential heat-related emergency. Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion and high body temperatures. To treat heat cramps, follow these tips:

nSeek shade or cool, comfortable place;

nDrink a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes;

nGently stretch the cramped muscle and hold for about 20 seconds; and

If symptoms persist or worsen, seek emergency medical treatment.

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