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      Taking steps against heat-related illness this summer

      Valley heat is in full swing and the high temperatures could prove dangerous for anyone spending too much time outdoors, especially the elderly and children. Patients showing signs of heat exhaustion have gone into San Benito Medical Associates.

      Luckily, Dr. Norma Schacherl has been able to get them back on their feet without serious side effects. Heat exhaustion, which is characterized by headaches, dizziness or nausea occurs when the person is exposed to the heat and dehydrated. In the case of heat stroke, a person's mental ability becomes impaired due to the heat and could result in death if not treated.

      "That's an emergency because the brain can heat up and there could be brain damage." Oscar Rodriguez, coach for the Venom fast-pitch team said the girls practice four times a week during evening hours and have played in 44 games since February. The girls are aged seven to eight. and even though they may be tough, their coaches take no chances in them becoming overheated while enjoying their favorite pastime.

      "They practice 15 minutes then come in a take a water and Gatorade break. They always have it with them," the coach said. Dr. Schacherl said once signs of heat exhaustion are evident, cool the person down with a shower or in a cool room.

      If they show signs of heat exhaustion, place ice packs under the armpits even after they have cooled down.

      People suffering from heat exhaustion may still experience symptoms days later.

      The Venom fast-pitch team has their routine down to a tee.

      They neither want to miss a catch nor a break for fluids.