Know the signs of heat stress before you go outside

As heat advisories and excessive heat warnings persist, medical experts want each of us to pay attention to signs of heat stress

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As we move into even hotter temperatures later this week, medical experts say now is the time to check in on the effects of heat.

For one North Texas woman, she hopes her heat experience can help all of us to listen to our bodies.

Betty Picek speaks from experience.

“My big telltale when I find out I’m getting overheated is I get cold sweats,” Picek said.

The avid Texas hiker shares many of her outdoor adventures on her Instagram page, including a real-world reminder of the real effects of heat.

“I think some people they start getting symptoms and they’re like ‘I’ll just down some more water and that will fix it but you’re not dehydrated you’re too hot,” Picek said.

This means Picek no longer hikes in Texas summers, instead right now finding cooler locations along the east coast. But she shared with her followers a poster covering the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, in both English and Spanish.

Healthcare providers are paying close attention too. Mike Sharma is a physician assistant at Driven Healthcare. He says if someone you love has been out in the heat and cannot respond to basic questions, it is likely a heat emergency and requires immediate action, like full body immersion into cold water.

“The big dividing line for me is some sort of altered mental status,” Sharma said.

Sharma says the Frisco-based urgent care clinic hasn’t seen many patients presenting with heat-related symptoms, yet.

“It’s still kind of early,” I’m worried about what it’s going to look like in July and August if it’s this hot and now at the end of June,” Sharma said.

The hottest conditions of the year so far could come as early as Wednesday, so now is a good reminder no matter how much heat experience we have in North Texas, pay attention to what your body is telling you.

“We forget about it,” Picek said. “As Texans, we just say it’s hot and just deal with it and I think we don’t really take a good perspective of how bad it actually can be on our body.”

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