One can always count on a Kansas summer for lots of sunshine. However, those soaring temperatures can cause serious health issues especially for the elderly or the very young.

Extreme temperatures can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke which can result in hospitalization or even death.

The Mayo Clinic defines heat-related injuries as one of three categories.

“Heat exhaustion is a condition whose symptoms may include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body overheating. It's one of three heat-related syndromes, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe.”

Heat stroke, the most dangerous of the heat injuries often requires medical attention. Luckily it’s easy to avoid those dangers if proper precautions are taken.

Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas Community Relations Director RelationsBob Burk has some easy tips for avoiding a heat injury.

“Try to limit your time outdoors during the hottest times of the day, as well as stay well hydrated.” Burk said.

He also encouraged people to wear loose clothes of light colors and to always use sunscreen.

Burk cautioned against people assuming they are not at risk for a heat related injury, encouraging everyone to educate themselves on possible symptoms.

“People who work outside, as well as athletes need to be especially aware of the symptoms and risks.” Burk said.

He points to local coaches having practices during times when the heat is the least oppressive as an additional good countermeasure for athletes.

“Many local coaches schedule practices early in the morning or late in the afternoon to protect their players,” Burk said.

— Keesha Hervey is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at khervey@morningsun.net.