What can I do to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

With temperatures as high as 106 expected this weekend, ATCEMS is warning the public about the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat-related illness.

ATCEMS says the Heat Advisory has been extended through Sunday and the heat index is expected to be 110.

ATCEMS is sharing the following tips to prevent heat emergencies:

Stay Cool

  • Pack your cooler with water and ice
  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid recreational drug use as they may cause increased body temperature
  • Dress for the heat in loose, light-colored clothing
  • Wear a hat and use sunscreen

Stay Hydrated

  • Stay hydrated, drink more water than usual when outdoors for extended periods of time
  • Don't over-exercise, take breaks, and seek the shade or air-conditioning to cool yourself down

Stay Informed

  • Keep an eye on children, pets, and the elderly for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
  • Remember that mild heat emergencies can quickly progress to severe heat exhaustion and heat stroke if left untreated

ATCEMS says to watch out for the signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Infrequent urination or dark urine, this may indicate poor hydration as you should urinate every 2-4 hours

If you do experience any of these symptoms, ATCEMS says to:

  • Move to a cooler location, indoors or in the shade
  • Sit or lie down and loosen your clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths or compresses to as much of your body as possible
  • Sip water slowly
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you have vomited and continue to vomit

ATCEMS also says to watch out for the signs of heat stroke:

  • Altered mentation or mental activity
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness
  • High body temperature, above 103

If you do experience any of these symptoms, ATCEMS says to:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately as this is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler environment
  • Reduce the person's body temperature with cool wet towels, ice or a cold bath
  • Do NOT give the person fluids

ATCEMS says pet owners can do the following to help keep their furry friends safe in the heat:

  • Make sure they have plenty of shade
  • Leave them at home when it's hot outside
  • Be careful not to over-exercise your pet as too much playtime in the hot sun is dangerous
  • Give your pet plenty of water when it's hot outside and be sure to fill their water bowl before you leave
  • Walk your pet on grass or dirt when possible as hot asphalt and tar can burn sensitive paw pads

ATCEMS is also reminding residents to never leave young children, the elderly or pets unattended in vehicles. According to the agency, Texas leads the nation in deaths of children left unattended in hot cars.

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