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Warning: Not just the elderly falling victim to dehydration

Warning: Not just the elderly falling victim to dehydration

CREATED May. 18, 2012

Reporter: Steve Nuñez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The string of hot summer-like temperatures recorded in the month of May is already causing some people to sweat it all out. And, it's possible you could be dehydrated and not even know it.

Today, Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg is warning residents it's not just the elderly who dangerously fall victim to this heat-related illness.
"Someone can be outside just a few hours in the morning and by lunch time they're already feeling the effects of the heat," said Goldberg.

Goldberg said his firefighters have already responded to four emergency calls, all in one day, to treat people suffering from dehydration.

The most common sickness includes the following symptoms: sudden light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, weakness, muscle cramping and fainting.

"If someone is that dehydrated or exposed to so much heat that they lose consciousness we can see seizures or we're getting to the point where their brain is being affected by high temperature in their body we call that the heat stroke, we're talking about life threatening critical conditions at that point," said Goldberg.

And while most heat-related calls involve treating the elderly, Goldberg said young, healthy adults can become just as vulnerable if they're working outside and  had too much alcohol to drink the night before.  

9 On Your Side Reporter Steve Nuñez asked: "Do the symptoms vary based on age?"

"They don't range based on their age but they can be varied among anybody," said Goldberg. "But we do know that the young or the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions can be at greater risk for more symptoms."

However, there is one reliable indicator to tell if you're drinking enough water. If you're adequately hydrated, your urine will come out clear or light-colored. If you're dehydrated, your urine will be dark yellow or amber.

Goldberg said, this time of year, you can never drink too much water.    

"It's much healthier and safer for you to keep drinking a lot of fluids staying away from those sodas staying away from those energy drinks," said Goldberg.

Bottom line, Goldberg said to avoid exercising and running errands during the mid-day sun when it's the hottest time of the day. Instead,  try to be out and about during the early morning or during the evening time.