With the return of August heat and daily temperatures now approaching 100 degrees, Tarrant County Public Health reminds residents to avoid heat-related illness.
“The risk of heat injury or death is at its worst when high temperatures continue over multiple days,” said Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies can’t compensate and properly cool themselves. Natural cooling occurs when people sweat, but under some conditions, sweating is not enough, and a person’s body temperature rises rapidly.
“While the elderly, young children and people dealing with chronic ailments are usually the first to suffer from the heat, I urge everyone to take precautions,” Taneja said.
Among those precautions:
- Never leave children or animals in parked vehicles. When outdoor temperatures are high, children and animals left inside parked cars can be overcome by heat within minutes.
- Minimize exposure. Being outside in high temperatures for prolonged periods puts anyone at risk of heat injury, especially if active in outdoor athletic programs, youth organizations or schools.
- Avoid dehydration. Water is the most critical beverage a person can drink to prevent heat injury. Develop the habit of drinking water every hour when it’s hot outside — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinking alcohol on hot days.
- Maintain adequate ventilation/air conditioning. Some people turn off their air conditioning, do not run it long enough or may not have access to fans or other devices that circulate cool air. Unless people have a high tolerance for heat, this practice puts them at risk for heat injury.
- The elderly are most at risk. Neighbors, friends and family should regularly check on the elderly when temperatures are high for multiple days.