The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans to take extra safety precautions as temperatures hit 100 degrees or more in several parts of the state.
Officials say that extreme temps put children at a greater risk of injury or death if left unattended in a vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says temperatures inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even with an outside temp of 60 degrees, officials say the temperature inside a ar can reach 110 degrees.
Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non crash related fatalities among children. Leaving windows partially rolled down does not help. Officials say a child should never be left unattended in a vehicle.
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe and managing the heat:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day even if you do not feel thirsty; you may not realize you’re dehydrated until it’s too late. Also avoid alcohol and beverages high in caffeine or sugar during periods of prolonged outdoor exposure.
- Pay attention to your body. Heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke can develop quickly. Know the warning signs and seek medical attention if necessary.
- Check on others, especially the elderly, sick, very young and those without air conditioning.
- Don’t forget pet safety. Animals are also susceptible to heat-related injury or death – don’t put your pets in these dangerous conditions.
- Monitor local weather updates and stay aware of any upcoming changes in weather.
- Limit exposure to the sun and stay indoors as much as possible. If possible, avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day.
- Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a hat are recommended while spending time outdoors.
- Wear sunscreen. Sunburns can affect your body’s ability to cool down. Protect yourself during periods of sun exposure by putting on sunscreen SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going outside.
- Be extra careful when cooking outdoors, building campfires or driving off-road to avoid igniting dry vegetation. Also, stay aware of burn bans in your area and always abide by restrictions on outside burning.
The National Weather Service website provides additional information and tips for staying safe during periods of extreme heat.
For more information on how to prepare for extreme heat, visit ready.gov.