When Texans think of summer, only one thing comes to mind – the heat. According to the National Weather Service, heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.
As we near the Fourth of July holiday, First Choice ER Dr. David Olson offered tips on how to beat the heat and general water safety protocols.
First Choice Emergency rooms has several locations in the Greater Houston area, including Missouri City and Rosenberg in Fort Bend County.
1. Never leave children unattended: In the car, even with the windows down – always make sure all children are out of the car and accounted for when you arrive at your destination. Also, never leave children unattended around any body of water. According to Safekids.org, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision.
2. Check your local forecast: Pay close attention to local weather conditions and heat advisories. Avoid swimming in harsh weather conditions such as rain and thunderstorms. Always read and obey posted rules and signs. At the beach, pay special attention to warning signs or color-coded flags. If you’re unsure of what the signs mean or have other questions regarding the ocean’s conditions, ask a lifeguard for assistance.
3. Signs of a heatstroke: If you believe someone is experiencing heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately (symptoms include: high temperature, hot dry skin, rapid pulse, nausea, lack of sweating, severe headache, dizziness.) The sun is strongest between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., making you more prone to heat-related illnesses during that time. Try to reduce strenuous activities until the cooler times including dawn and dusk.
4. Dehydration symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, flushed skin and extreme sweating are signs of dehydration. If these symptoms occur, get out of the sun, rest and slowly rehydrate. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
5. Always use the buddy system: If your buddy needs help, do not attempt to rescue them. Instead, alert a lifeguard that your buddy is in trouble. This system looks out for both you and your friend’s safety – this includes adults. When working in the heat – check in every 20 minutes with your buddy for a water break. Do not hesitate to call out any signs of heat illness you or your buddy may be experiencing.