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Central Georgia workers prepare to battle extreme heat this summer

Jobs like landscaping, construction, and mail delivery are where workers suffer the most heat-related illnesses

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — You can’t help but notice temperatures are rising, and in Central Georgia, they’re expected to spike near triple digits. That means many thousands of Central Georgians are exposed to temperatures as they work. 

Landscaping a yard can take VonEric Richardson anywhere from 30 mins to an hour-and-a-half, and for him, hiding from the heat is nearly impossible.

"It gets like 95 degrees, and when I’m going, I’m just going, I don’t think about the heat, really," he said.

With Georgia temperatures spiking, he says he keeps a few things with him in an effort to stay cool, "Like a pullover over my head to keep like a cooling mask, my shades with the protective rim, keep all the dust from coming in. I keep me a hat on," he said. 

Jobs like landscaping, construction, and mail delivery are where workers suffer the most heat-related illnesses. Working or playing in extreme temperatures can affect the body in ways you may not expect.

"It can affect the lungs, sometimes occurring because the vessels are more open, it can affect your kidneys because there’s no blood flow to your kidneys and they can sometimes shut down," a Doctor said. 

Dr. Gerald Tarirah with Southern Lung Specialists says, of course, staying hydrated matters, but sweating it out helps, too.

"Of course, less layers of clothing. Remember, our bodies cool depending on your sweating, and the more you sweat, the better it is," the doctor said.  

If you find yourself working in the heat any time soon, Richardson says take this advice: 

"Stay hydrated, keep a cooler in the trailer or the truck, plenty of water, keep a sweat rag. Other than that, there’s not much you can do with it," Richardson said.

50% to 70% of outdoor heat deaths occur in the first few days of a heatwave because the body needs to gradually build a tolerance to the heat.

In addition, staying hydrated, the Red Cross says it’s also important to eat throughout the day, wearing loose or lightweight clothes is also helpful, and they also say try to find shade when necessary.

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