CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Temperatures are heating up this week, leaving many vulnerable to the dangers of extreme heat. 

According to Kanawha County paramedic Derek Pinson, there are several possible heat emergencies when temperatures get this hot, such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke and even death. 

Pinson said signs of heat exhaustion include nausea, confusion, abdominal pain, muscle cramping and spasms. These symptoms become even worse with heatstroke.  

“As you get into heatstroke your body temperature gets above 104 and increases,” he said. “You stop sweating, you can become red, hot to the touch. You can become unresponsive and that’s a life-threatening emergency.” 

CW Sigman, emergency manager for Kanawha County, said these heat dangers can happen to anyone, especially those left in hot cars. 

To demonstrate, Sigman left a thermometer in a car for several minutes, showing just how fast heat can become deadly. 

“We more or likely see a pet in a car than a child. I’ve been to calls when a child has been in the car and that’s a life-threatening emergency and you saw how hot it got,” Sigman said. “The thermometer was registered for 120 and it was well past that.” 

He also emphasized that you should make a habit of looking inside before you lock your car, and that prevention is the best defense against extreme heat. 

“If you stay hydrated, you take adequate rest breaks and you take adequate rest, stay in the shade, you probably won’t have that heat exhaustion, things of that nature and it won’t lead to a heat stroke,” Sigman said.