North Texans Take Precautions in the Extreme Heat

The heat is on. Some cities across North Texas topped out at 100 degrees Monday. And, people were prepared.

“Electrolytes are critical, so I carry a fuel belt,” said runner Steve Cassidy. “I don’t go more than three miles without refueling.”

Some say the hot weather has forced changes to their routines.

“Well, I’m walking, normally I would be running, but it is a bit hot, so I’m walking,” Michael Johnson said, while exercising at Trinity River Park. “I’m going to do about four miles, actually I try to do six miles, but I’m down to four just because of the heat.”

Tami Martin brought her son and other family members to the park late Monday morning to play.

“I don’t want them to stay in front of the TV all day, in front of the tablet or the game thing,” Martin said. “I want them to get outside and enjoy what’s outside. Even with the heat, it’s just making sure you take precautions before you come out and keeping them hydrated.”

Doctors agree. They say hydration is a key part of the equation, but also changing the time of day you chose to exercise or play outside can make a difference.

“Ultimately, we need to just be careful about what times we have them outside,” said Dr. Justin Smith with Cook Children’s Health Care System. “Get them out when it’s cooler before 10 o’clock after 6 o’clock take good care to keep them hydrated.”

Smith says children who stay inside more during the summer may be more likely to suffer from heat-related illness during sports activities.

“Studies are showing parents are keeping kids inside more during summer heat than they used to in the past,” Dr. Smith said. “I think what we’re seeing is they’re ramping up to activity really quickly so they show up for football two-a-days or show up for sports in the fall and they haven’t been outside much, they haven’t been getting used to being in the heat and all of a sudden they’re put into extreme activity in heat, and I think that’s a recipe for heat-related illness.”

Smith says the best way to get accustomed to the heat is safely spending some time in it.

“The best way is to let them get outside as long as you’re staying outside of the peak heat hours,” Dr. Smith said. “Be sure they’re hydrated while they are out there, make sure they stay safe, but let them get out there during those times when they can so when it does come closer time to be really active they at least have some activity in the summertime under their belt.”

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