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Courtesy graphic.

Courtesy graphic.

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

It’s that time of year – whether you’re going for a run, walking to your car or getting some fresh air during a break, it’s almost impossible to avoid the Gulf Coast’s summer heat and humidity.

The 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron’s Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight has created the Thermal Injury Prevention Program to help you beat the heat.

Check out the information below to learn more about thermal injury prevention:

-What is heat-related illness or thermal injury?

                -Heat illness disorders can range from heat rash and cramps to heat exhaustion and stroke, and are result when the body can no longer regulate its temperature. These can occur from both dehydration and heat exposure.

-What’s the big deal about dehydration?

                -There’s no substitute for drinking water. Sodas and energy drinks may help keep energy up throughout the day, but even in the more mild summer temperatures exhaustion and illness can occur. Drinking at least one half quart of water per hour can help maintain hydration.

-How can you tell if someone’s suffering from a thermal injury?

                -Nausea, dizziness, weakness, headache, blurred vision, profuse sweating, cold/wet (clammy) and grayish skin or unconsciousness.

-Are there other risk factors aside from just being out in the sun?

                -Lack of physical fitness or adequate sleep, recovery from an illness, certain medications or dietary supplements, use of alcohol within 24 hours or a history of heat-related injuries are all additional factors for thermal injuries.

-Pay attention to the flag index colors, known as the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature. There are several flags located around base to indicate the current WBGT condition, including the Blake Fitness Center and Dragon Gym.

              -White flag: Temperatures between 79.9 degrees and less.

              -Green flag: Temperatures between 80 – 84.9 degrees.

              -Yellow flag: Temperatures between 85 -87.9 degrees.

              -Red flag: Temperatures between 88 – 89.9 degrees.

              -Black flag: Temperatures 90 degrees and above.