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High Temperatures Scorch Nation

Much of the nation is wilting under a heat wave with temperatures in the 90s and 100s and miserable humidity.

In Texas, the temperatures have risen to 100 degree days off and on for the last few weeks. Although people who have air-conditioning can ignore it, many people in the city don't have that luxury.

The merciless midday sun beat down on a neighborhood in South Dallas, where Lauretta Adams was sweeping her porch - and sweating.

"It is very hot. It's really unbearable. I'm not sure how we're going to make it in July and August," Adams told CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers.

Her thoughts were echoed a few blocks away in a small wood-framed home, where Vessie White was struggling to deal with the heat.

White is raising six young grandchildren on her own with limited funds and only two small fans to cool them.

"It never really cools off enough for you even to relax at night, and going without rest is rough," White said.

It's especially rough for 9-year-old Martha, who suffers severe asthma.

"I'm wheezing, and my chest is beeping real fast," Martha said.

Comfort is hard to come by in a home that these days feels more like a hot house.

"It's terrible, but then you have to do what you have to do to make it," White said.

It doesn't look like White will get much relief Monday, even though the forecast is set for 98. With the heat index and the humidity thrown in, temperatures will reach near 120.

Heat this intense could be more than uncomfortable - it can be deadly and dangerous.

Dr. Steve Schexnayder, a critical-care physician at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, said that the most important thing for people to do in high heat is to pay attention to what their bodies need.

"People need to listen to their bodies as people start to get hot and feel hot. They need to be taking in extra liquids. They need to be in light clothing, and when they start feeling the effects of heat, they need to get out of the direct sun and into a cooler environment," Dr. Schexnayder told CBS 'This Morning' Co-Anchor Russ Mitchell.

Dr. Schexnayder said that the most at risk are the very young and the very old, who have a "a diminished ability to dissipate heat and to sweat." Parents should not leave their children in a parked car without air conditioning, as the heat can easily rise to 140 degrees within 15 minutes.

People taking certain medicines should also avoid the heat, Dr. Schexnader said, particularly psychiatric medicines, and some antihistamines.

Drinking extra fluids and extra salt will help those fighting the extreme heat. For those will heat exhaustion or more serious - heat stroke - immediate treatment is necessary, as they may require I.V. fluids.

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