Originally created 06/13/06

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Summer is often filled with camps, practices and tournament games in preparation for the upcoming school year, but it is also one of the most dangerous times of the year to be active outdoors because of the intense heat, especially in the South.

According to the Rehydration Project of 2002, 2.2 million children worldwide die each year from dehydration. By taking precautions, you can help ward off the life-threatening condition:

- Have a pre-participation exam and/or a physical by a medical physician before starting organized activities.

- Begin training ahead of time so your body becomes acclimated to the heat gradually.

- Drink at least two to three 8-ounce glasses of water at least an hour before activity, and drink water or a sports drink (to replenish electrolytes) every 20 minutes during activity. Avoid caffeinated drinks because they will dehydrate you.

- Keep a weight chart. Weigh before and after each practice. If a person loses 3 percent or more of body weight, he or she should sit and drink until the normal weight returns.

- Avoid activities or practices during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and instead schedule in the morning or late afternoon.

- Wear light-colored, lightweight clothes during activities or practices, and change sweat-soaked clothes so the body can cool itself more easily.

- Monitor the temperature and humidity. If the humidity is more than 75 percent, the evaporation of sweat becomes more difficult.

- Add a little salt to meals to help maintain electrolyte levels.

- Know the signs. The first signs of dehydration include thirst, dry lips, dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, irritability, headache, dark urine and decreased urine output. Heat cramps are the next step, followed by heat exhaustion (difficulty breathing, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting and extreme weakness). Rest, cooling off and drinking cool liquids are advised to treat these early stages; however, medical attention is needed if heatstroke develops. If a person exhibits rapid and shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, unusually high or low blood pressure, lack of sweating, mental confusion, disorientation, collapse or loss of consciousness, call 911 immediately.

Source: Bryan Jones, certified athletic trainer, Medical College of Georgia Sports Medicine Center



MUSEUM EXHIBIT: A free exhibit, Freedom USA, will run through June 21 at Aiken County Historical Museum, 433 Newberry St. S.W. The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 2-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Call (803) 642-2015 for more information.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: The show will start at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. at Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre at Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way. Tickets cost $3.50 for adults and children. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The show will be presented by Augusta State's Born to Read Literacy Center and Patchwork Players. For more information, call (706) 733-7043.

EVENINGS IN THE APPLEBY GARDEN: The concert will take place at 8 p.m., with Hakim Rahsul and Company performing. The free concerts are held in the gardens behind the Appleby Branch Library, 2260 Walton Way, and are sponsored by the Main Branch Library. For more information, call (706) 821-2604.


CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The monthly meeting of the Midland Valley Area Chamber of Commerce will begin at noon at Bobby's Bar-B-Q Buffet and Catering, 1897 Jefferson Davis Highway, Warrenville. Scott Edgeworth will talk about safe summer driving. For more information, call (803) 645-4429.


BEST CHEFS OF THE SOUTH SERIES: Rodney Freidank, the executive chef of Restaurant O in Greenville, S.C., will be the featured chef at the Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, as part of the Best Chefs of the South series. Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m. and a four-course dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $79. For more information, call (706) 737-8888.

MARKETING WORKSHOP: The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Penland Administration Building, Room 106, at the University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway. The cost is $50, and registration is required by today. For more information, call (803) 641-3646.

BATTY IN THE SWAMP: Phinizy Gone Batty will begin at 7 p.m. at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Road, as part of the Family Discovery Series. Carol Jackson will discuss bats. The Pfizer Pavilion will open at 6 p.m. for picnics. Donations are accepted. Call (706) 828-2109.


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