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Residents urged to take precautions as summer weather arrives in north Texas

With temperatures well into the 90s and a potential heat index of 100 degrees predicted by next week, Tarrant County Public Health reminds residents to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. People should pay special attention to children, the elderly and pets.

An Ozone Action Day is also in effect today for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Elevated ozone levels can mean poor air quality for sensitive groups.

“As the temperatures climb, it’s important to remember to check on elderly relatives, friends or neighbors for any signs of heat related illness,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “People 65 and older, infants and children up to age 4, and those with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress,” he said.

Symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion include a temperature over 103, dizziness, nausea, confusion and headache.
If someone shows these signs, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a shaded area; place in a cool shower if they are alert; monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts. Do not give the victim fluids to drink.

To avoid heat-related problems, Tarrant County Public Health recommends following these strategies:

  1. Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  2. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  3. Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don’t wait until you are thirsty
  4. Take cool showers
  5. Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  6. Keep pets cool
  7. Avoid unnecessary work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  8. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  9. Avoid using the oven to cook

Residents should also be alert for heat advisories and emergencies. The National Weather Service declares a Heat Emergency when the heat index (temperature plus humidity) reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for all people, particularly those in high risk groups.

For more information on extreme heat, visit Avoid heat injuries

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