BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern County's emergency rooms are expecting an influx of patients suffering from heat-related illnesses this weekend. So how can you keep the heat from sending you to the hospital?
"It's hot and it's going to get hotter," said Jonathan Settles of Bakersfield.
"As the summer approaches, we get a whole host of heat-related illnesses that come to the emergency room," said Dr. Faried Banimahd, Department of Emergency Medicine at Kern Medical Center.
That includes dehydration and heat stroke. "It can kill you," said Dr. Banimahd.
Even so, sometimes people miss the symptoms.
"For most people it's hard to recognize," said Dr. Banimahd.
But, according to Dr. Banimahd it's easy if you know what to look for.
Feeling hot, nauseous, exhausted, weak, any tingling sensations in your arms or legs and even confusion are all indicators you may be suffering from a heat-related illness.
"A guy just walked off the construction site in the summer and just walked into the lake. He had severe heat-related illness," said Dr. Banimahd.
But, Dr. Banimahd said you don't have to get to that point.
"Stay indoors or find a neighbor with a pool," said Joy Klopfenstein of Bakersfield.
Finding shade, watching for heat illness symptoms and drinking fluids are Dr. Banimahd's best preventative measures.
He says healthy people should drink one to two liters of water a day, and he also recommends drinking sports drinks like Gatorade.
"If you're just taking in plain water and lots of it that can affect your balance of electrolytes, potassium and so forth," said Dr. Banimahd.