News 12 at First at Five / Friday, June 29, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Lydia Manning brought her two children to the playground before the hottest part of the day.
"It's gotten extremely warm extremely quickly. From being a mild summer to hot summer was a shock to everybody," Manning said.
Some places were even registering temperatures as high as 108 degrees before noon on Friday.
"It's horrible, and if you don't stay hydrated, you're going to be hurting," Manning said. "You can feel it on your skin ... and it feels horrible."
The heat can also be dangerous.
Pam Tucker, the director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division, emphasizes the importance of staying cool in hot weather.
"It's something to take serious. Many people think heat is something they can ignore simply because they live in the South," she said. "But more people die from heat exhaustion and heat stroke than other disasters combined every year ... it needs to be taken seriously."
There are even hidden dangers for children. For instance, hot, plastic playground equipment can cause severe burns in the heat of the day.
"A lot of the issue is that parents don't realize how quickly children can get dehydrated from running around and playing," Manning said.
Of course, some workplaces don't have the luxury of air conditioning, but most outdoor workers are taking it easy with added breaks and shorter days.
"You have to change your routine a little bit when it's this hot outside," Tucker said. "You need to pay attention to your body and headaches, dizziness, fatigues."
It's important to get inside to a cool place immediately when you start to feel ill. If air conditioning does not help, Tucker says you must get to a hospital.
The Department of Labor has also created a phone app for anyone who spends time outdoors. The OSHA Heat Safety Tool can help keep you safe. It uses your location to tell you the temperature, heat index, risk level and how to protect yourself.