Here's how to keep cool and stay safe as dangerous heat blankets the region

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.

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While the hot weather is setting the scene for a solid beach day, you should know heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.

That's why doctors say if you're headed out on Wednesday, you should take breaks from being outside, do less intense activities, keep quick relief medicine handy and watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.



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While these tips apply to everyone, they especially do to sensitive groups, including people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children and teens.

It's also important to know the signs of heat exhaustion -- heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea and muscle aches.

If you or someone you see has any of these symptoms, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

"The things you might see in other people and have a hard time recognizing in yourself that are big red flags are confusion... If you see someone who looks like they've been out in the sun too long and they are exhausted and confused, that's someone who may be suffering from heat stroke and needs to come and see us in the emergency department," said Dr. Luke Apisa of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Fourteen Boston Centers for Youth and Families community centers will serve as cooling stations on Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. And some Boston Public Library locations are also available for people looking to escape the heat.

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