North Texas

High Temperatures Increase Heat-Related Illnesses

Doctors are hearing more complaints about the heat as temperatures rise toward triple digits.

"We are seeing more heat illnesses here at the clinic right now," said Dr. Vicki Yang at Children's Health Dallas. "Usually it's a combination of some nausea or the child is feeling a little bit overheated."

Dallas County tracks heat-related illness, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The number is rising, but so far there have been no deaths this year.

"This Texas heat is very deadly," said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson.

Running the air conditioning at night, when many people may turn them off to save money, is just as important as keeping cool during the day.

"Everybody's always concerned about the daytime temperatures, but it's really the nighttime temperatures," said Thompson. "When you start talking 80 degrees and above as a nighttime temperature, your body does not cool down, and that contributes to heat illnesses."

Doctors have a simple prescription for parents of young children.

"As long as the children are out there drinking enough fluids, wearing loose fitting clothing should help with the increased heat," said Yang.

Doctors recommend sports drinks like Gatorade to replace essential nutrients lost in the heat.

In anticipation for triple-digit temperatures in North Texas, Dallas County Health and Human Services issued a Heat-Related Illness Surveillance Report July 13.

DCHHS said 75 heat-related illnesses have been documented so far in 2015, including 26 cases of heat cramps, 39 cases of heat exhaustion and 10 cases of heat stroke.

No heat-related deaths have been reported.

The report also mentioned that men aged 18-35 are most likely to suffer from a heat-related illness with 20 documented cases. However, men and women of all ages are at risk.

DCHHS reminds everyone that these illnesses are preventable by drinking plenty of water and spending time in air-conditioned locations.

The Salvation Army is helping North Texas beat the heat with the installation of 13 cooling stations across the metroplex.

The cooling stations inside the Dallas and Fort Worth emergency homeless shelters will remain open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week due to high foot traffic.

For more information or exact locations of cooling stations, click HERE.

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NBC 5's Jamie Weiss contributed to this report.

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