Doctor: How to avoid heat-related ER visits this holiday weekend

WATCH: Doctor: How to avoid heat-related ER visits this holiday weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 meteorologists have been warning us for days about oppressive heat and humidity expected this weekend.

Of course, being a holiday weekend, we’re sure many are planning to be outdoors and so are doctors.

Dr. Ben Bowman is an E-R physician with the Methodist Germantown Emergency Department.

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“Anytime this time of year, especially heading into a holiday weekend, we’re always a little more aware of the potential for dehydration; heat exhaustion; certainly some of the heat-related illnesses that we see in individuals, just because people are going to be spending more time outside,” Dr. Bowman said.

He said anytime folks start spending more time outside, the risk for heat exposure and heat-related illnesses goes up.

On a weekend like this, doctors will keep that possible diagnosis at the forefront of their minds.

“With summer heat comes summer activities: so, there’s a lot of BBQs, pool parties, outdoor activities, sporting events,” Dr. Bowman said.

So, how do you avoid becoming overheated and dehydrated when the heat index is pushing 100 degrees?

For starters, don’t let alcohol be your only source of hydration.

“Avoiding excess caffeine and avoiding alcoholic beverages,” he said. “Both the alcohol and caffeine can work to dehydrate your body faster.”

On top of that, drink water and a lot of it.

Dr. Bowman recommends taking your weight and dividing it in half. Whatever that number is, is how many ounces of water you should aim to drink daily.

Finally, if you have older family members or neighbors, Dr. Bowman said don’t forget to do a welfare check.

“If you have neighbors or family members that you know, certainly the elderly population will be more susceptible to being dehydration sooner, and the consequences of dehydration can be more significant or severe in the elderly population,” Dr. Bowman said.