5 Simple Tips to Help You Survive the Heat in the Big Country
The number of people that die every year due to heat-related deaths is up drastically. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). During 2018–2020, a total of 3,066 heat-related deaths occurred in America.
However, Texas leads in the number of people dying due to heatstroke according to the CDC, the numbers are shocking. Here's why Texas leads, we have more "pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths." The Lone Star State had a total of 134 child deaths from 1998 through 2021.
Heat-related deaths and illnesses in the U.S. account for more people dying annually than those killed in hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. Heat-related incidents are totally preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat.
To protect yourself when temperatures are 90 degrees or higher, remember to keep cool and use common sense, and follow these common-sense tips:
1. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Regardless of your activity level, increase your consumption of fluids. Waiting until you're thirsty to drink something is too late. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, they work in reverse causing your body to dehydrate. Drink at least two to four 8oz glasses of fluids every hour.
2. REPLACE MINERALS
Start replacing the salt, sugar, and minerals in your body right away. Think for just a moment, when the Dallas Cowboys are playing football on a 100-degree day, you see each player drinking those sports drinks to replace those minerals. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals that you lost through sweat.
3. WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHING
Put on the least amount of clothing or the lightest clothing possible when you are at home. Lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes are what work best in high-heat. Cover or shade your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Cover other exposed areas because sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself, and will cause your body to lose fluids.
4. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Use a Buddy System, when overheated we tend to lose track of time, forget to reapply sunscreen, drink water, and take breaks. Heatstroke makes a person become confused or lose consciousness. When you are working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.
5. MONITOR THE CHILDREN AND THE ELDERLY
Infants and children are more sensitive to high temperatures and need adults to regulate their environments and provide lots of fluids. Children are in more need of sunscreen because their skin is more sensitive to sunburn.
People age 60 and older need someone who will call and check on them two to three times a day minimum. The elderly may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are not likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature or consciousness.
People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications are affected by extreme heat. Overweight people are more prone to heatstroke.
The Big Country has already seen days where the temperatures have exceeded the 100-degree mark and many more are coming. For more information on hot weather safety information check with the American Red Cross, and the CDC.