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Keep Your 'Cool' In the Summer Heat

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BENSON — When the heat is as severe as it has been this week, even the healthiest people can only take so much.

"You could probably put an egg down, and it would fry. This sand is probably 115 or 120 degrees," said swimmer Chad Linder.

Despite thethermometerand the July Fourth holiday, many people still had to report for work.

For them, the weather can be brutal. The temperature late Monday reached 100 degrees while the heat index rose to 105 degrees.

Wayne Pollard is self-employed and runs a lawn service. Despite the heat and the holiday, Monday was another day of work.

"About the best you can do," Pollard said, "is drink water and try to find a shady spot."

Doctors say rest and fluids, especially sports drinks, are the best defense against the heat. Heat-related problems are much easier to prevent than they are to treat.

"Basically the problem is you lose your electrolytes from sweating, and the skin is the biggest organ in the body. You're able to lose an awful lot of fluids in this weather," said Dr. Robert Ferguson, an emergency room physician.

Despite the warnings to take it easy, many people opt to be outside, and some even continue with rigorous exercise routines. The hot weather did not prevent Charles Howell from doing push-ups in the park.

Howell acknowledged that adequate water was a necessity.

Lisa Howell, however, has one of the better jobs during a heat wave. She is a swim instructor at a local pool. Instead of fretting about the effect of the heat, she worries about coaxing little children into enjoying the water so they can learn to swim.

In case you do have to be outdoors, be alert to changes. If you become chilly, dizzy or nauseated, you should get to a cool place and apply some cold, wet compresses to your head and neck.

In this kind of weather, if you feel too hot, you probably are.

In the hottest part of the day, the scouts at Dan Beard Cub Scout Day Camp in Apex are all wet.

While they can fish, scouts cannot swim there. So, when the heat index climbs into triple digits, hydration is a required merit badge.

"Dehydration is very dangerous for small children. It can happen very quickly before you know it," said Patrick McIntosh. Camp Director Lisa White and the rest of the counselors stay on the offensive, armed with water guns and sprayers.

Although they take the heat very seriously, they try to make the solution fun.

During most activities, whether it's archery or the BB gun target shoot, scouts stay under tents and out of direct sunlight.

Their regimen also includes constant water or sport drink breaks, and some sort of cold liquid is also kept close by.

In Fayetteville, Wendell Capps of Skibo Exxon said he dealt steadily with "breakdowns from the heat, alternators and batteries shot, and a lot of tires."

Fans were blowing air in the mechanics' bays, but "when you get out on the asphalt part, that's when it gets tough," Capps said.

At Oak Hollow Park Golf Course in High Point, the golf course was busy despite the heat. Water coolers were situated every third or fourth hole.

"It's too hot for me to play," said Ken Green, a pro shop attendant. "My clubs will stay in the car."

And, you should also remember totake care of your petswhen the temperature starts going up. From staff and wire reports

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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