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Hello, summertime!

sun illustrationSummer doesn't officially arrive until June 21, but if you live in Texas, you know that temperatures can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit - and higher - well before the season's official debut.

Everyone - humans of all ages and pets - is at risk when temperatures rise above 90 degrees. People suffer from heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly regulate temperature. Heat stroke or exhaustion can cause serious injury and even death when unattended.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches. Victims of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If the individual loses consciousness, call 911 immediately.

Here are tips to stay cool:

  • Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar. These actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay cool indoors or in an air conditioned place. 
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light-colored loose-fitting clothing. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and by using sunscreen of SPF15 or higher.
  • Try to limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Never leave pets, children or infants in a closed parked vehicle. On a warm day of 85 degrees, temperatures can soar to 102 degrees inside a vehicle within 10 minutes, even if parked in the shade or with partially opened windows.

Posted on: Mon 06 June 2011

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