Summertime in Louisiana can be grueling. Southwest Louisiana is one of the most humid places in the U.S. When temperatures are in the 90s, so is the dangerous humidity. A person could have a heat stroke. Here are six ways to deal with the scorching Louisiana sun.

1. Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
2. Drink a whole lot of water.
3. Eat small meals and eat more often.
4. Slow down. Take more breaks in the shade if you work outdoors.
5. Stay indoors when possible. Wear long-sleeved shirts when working or spending a few hours in the sun.
6. Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days.

Heat stroke is a primary concern for kids and adults, especially those who work outside during the summer. It is a severe heat-related health condition when the sweating mechanism fails and the body can't cool down. According to the CDC, when a person suffers from heat stroke, their temperature can climb to 106°F or higher in 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat stroke can be so severe that it can cause permanent disability or be fatal if the person does not receive immediate emergency attention. Below are five heat stroke symptoms to look for.

1.) Confused, acting strange, or having slurred speech.
2.) Losses of consciousness.
3.) Running a high fever. The person is thirsty
4.) Has a seizure, convulsions, or vomiting
5.) Has hot, dry skin or is sweating profusely.

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Take action immediately to administer first aid by bringing the body temperature down. Take the following steps to administer first aid to a person with heat stroke:

1.) Call 911 for emergency medical care.
2.) Stay with the person until emergency medics arrive.
3.) Move to a cool area or shade. Remove socks and loose or remove outer clothing.
4.) Cool the person off quickly by doing the following:

  • Cold water or an ice bath (if possible.)
  • Place a cold, wet cloth on the skin.
  • Put a fan on the person to speed up the cooling process and give them a sports drink (an electrolyte beverage) or water to drink.
  • Place the wet cloth with ice on the head, neck, armpits, or groin.

Please be mindful of your outside animals, dogs, or cats. They can have a heat stroke, too, which can lead to organ failure and death. This condition can be just as fatal because they can't sweat to cool off like humans, so they are less apt to regulate their body temperature. The Royal Vet College says dogs with a higher risk:

  • Animals that are overweight
  • Pugs and French Bulldogs, or Persian cats (flat-faced breeds)
  • Pets with thick coats
  • Old or very young animals
  • Animals with pre-existing health conditions, especially breathing, lung, or heart problems

It should go without saying, but with these extreme temperatures, NEVER leave a child or animal in a parked vehicle. In less than 10 minutes children and animals are at risk of suffocation even with the windows cracked and the car is parked in the shade.  This is also illegal in most states. For the first offense in Louisiana, mandates can include a $500 fine, six months in jail, or both.

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