Over the last two weeks, harsh temperatures have caused some University of Memphis students to experience heat strokes.
Extended exposure to the extreme heat that Memphis has been experiencing can cause severe dehydration and lead to heat stroke if an individual fails to stay hydrated.
As summer officially draws to a close Monday, there is little respite on the horizon for people in Memphis. The weather has remained consistently in the 90s, causing both students and faculty at the UofM to take extra precautions to beat the heat.
Dr. Dorian J. Burnette of the Health and Sciences department said that there is more behind the heat than many assume.
“This has been one of the warmest Septembers in recent memory,” Burnette said. “A ridge of high pressure has been over the Memphis area for the last two weeks, which has caused the temperature to average around 93 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Heat strokes often occur when people fail to hydrate themselves while in extremely hot conditions, which causes evaporation to occur at a very rapid pace. As a result, the body begins to break down and cause exhaustion and dehydration.
The Memphis Airport has recorded record temperatures for the last two weeks, causing the average heat index to linger around 110 degrees. As a result, staying alert to the temperature plays an essential role in ensuring safety and preventing heat-related illnesses and other emergencies.
“Limit your outdoor activity when extreme weather conditions are in place,” Burnette said. “If you have to work outside, make sure to take frequent water breaks and try to wear light-colored clothing.”
Junior advertising major Arika Carter has a simple routine for making sure that she stays hydrated and nourished.
“I drink eight bottles of water per day, which may seem like a lot, but it really is not,” said Carter. “I also wear lightweight clothes, and my hair remains up so it won’t be affected by the heat. I drink cool beverages and park my car near my class buildings so that my time in the heat is limited.”
These precautions cannot be understated, as dehydration can quickly occur in such extreme conditions.
Amber Strong, a journalism major, said the best way to stay cool is to stay inside.
“I do not come outside unless I absolutely have to,” Strong said. “I drink mostly water, and it ensures that I will never be dehydrated.”
Landon Black, a freshman hospitality major, emphasized the importance of hydration and not taking it for granted.
“I drink so much water a day that it’s ridiculous,” Black said. “I make sure to take care of my body because if I take care of it, it will take care of me.”