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5 Ways To Stay Cool During This Unbearable Texas Summer Heat

Two people playing tennis on an outside court.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
People playing a pick-up game of tennis at Kidd Springs Park, located in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff.

As the summer months progress and temperatures continue to climb, here are some quick tips to stay cool in the Texas heat.

Two common heat-related emergencies this time of year are heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt in a short amount of time. Symptoms can include muscle cramps, vomiting and nausea.

Heatstroke is a more life-threatening problem. It occurs when the body suffers from long exposure to the heat and loses its ability to cool itself. Some of the most common signs of heat stroke are confusion, rapid heart rate and potentially convulsions.

While these two heat-related illness are common this time of year, they can be easily prevented if you take these five steps:

Hydrate

Drink plenty of water during the day if you are going outside. Pre-hydrating is also important to make sure you're getting enough water. To do that— start drinking a day in advance if you know you will be outside for long periods of time.

Dress With The Weather Mind

Light-colored and loose-fitting clothing is the way to go in these summer months. With the wrong clothing, it can be easier for heat to be trapped and absorbed through the fabric. Hats are also recommended until you start to feel yourself getting warm.

Limit Activity Outside

Heatstroke can occur in less than an hour if you are outside performing difficult tasks. If you start feeling light-headed, immediately stop your activity and rest for a bit!

Check on People Who Are Vulnerable To The Heat

The elderly and people with preexisting health conditions can be at risk when it comes to heat-related emergencies. If you can, give them a call to check if they are in a well-ventilated, air conditioned location as temperatures continue to rise.

And finally...

Stay Inside

Stay in a place where there is plenty of air circulating to keep your body cool. If you are indoors but don't have access to air conditioning, open windows and use a fan to create a circulation of air.

In light of the extreme heat, Tarrant County's Medistar ambulance service is prioritizing patients who are outside in unprotected areas.

Matt Zavadksy with Medistar says air quality is also of concern. With high temperatures and low winds, particles can linger in the air for long periods of time.

"Often times people with respiratory conditions like asthma, congestive obstructive pulmonary disease, and other things could be aggravated by that poor air quality," Zavadksy said. He recommends staying indoors as much as possible.

If you or someone you know starts experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, immediately dial 9-1-1.

Got a tip? Email Ana Perez at Aperez@KERA.org. You can follow Ana on Twitter @anabperez. KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Ana Perez is a KERA News producer and the intern coordinator for the station.