Local officials warn of the dangers of intense heat

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TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — As temperatures in Florida remain high, local officials are asking you to take precautions.

“It is very hot, it can be worrying,” said Tampa Bay visitor Maria Otero.

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Maria Otero and her family spent the day at Indian Rocks Beach on Wednesday, not expecting the heat index to reach around 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

“It was very hot. Drink lots of water and sunscreen, like at least three times in and out of the water putting on more sunscreen,” Otero said.

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With such warmth, Otero makes sure his family is safe.

“Especially with our kids, we got them to drink water even though they don’t think they need it,” Otero said.

Ross Giarratana works for the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay and suggests finding air conditioning whenever you can, seeking shade, and drinking water whenever possible.

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“Heatstroke is a really big concern anytime you have dangerously hot temperatures, so you really want to watch if you start sweating profusely, very quickly, shortness of breath is also another symptom. You would want to seek medical attention very quickly,” Giarratana said.

He also has tips for going outside.

“People are really encouraged to limit their time outdoors as much as possible, especially if they’re going to be outside during the peak heating hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Giarratana said.

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And there is another concern when it comes to heat.

“We want to make sure that pets and children are not left in cars because vehicles within minutes can reach over 100 degrees,” Giarratana said.

Otero says his family will be very careful this summer while vacationing in the Tampa Bay area.

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“It’s extremely, extremely important to take precautions, you can easily get dehydrated without even knowing it,” Otero said.

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