Texas heat

North Texas Residents Urged to Take Precautions Amid Arrival of Hot Summer Weather

Tarrant County Public Health recommends several strategies to avoid heat-related problems

NBC 5 News

Tarrant County Public Health is reminding all North Texas residents to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses this summer.

With temperatures in the 90s this week and a potential heat index in the triple digits, Tarrant County Public Health said special attention should be paid to children, the elderly and pets. 

An Ozone Action Day has been in effect for the latter part of this week and continues into Saturday for the Dallas-Fort Worth area as elevated ozone levels can mean poor air quality for sensitive groups, according to the Texas Center for Environmental Quality.

Did you know the TCEQ will send you text alerts about Ozone Action Days? Go to their website here and scroll down to "How can I sign up to receive email and text alerts" to subscribe.

"As the temperatures climb, it's important to remember to check on elderly relatives, friends or neighbors for any signs of heat-related illness," Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said. "People 65 and older, infants and children up to age 4, and those with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress," he said.

According to Tarrant County Public Health, symptoms of heatstroke and exhaustion include a temperature over 103 degrees, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache.

Individuals showing these signs should be moved to a shaded area, placed in a cool shower if they are alert, and their body temperature should be monitored. These individuals should not be given fluids to drink, and 911 should be called.

To avoid heat-related problems, Tarrant County Public Health recommends following these strategies:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, and don't wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Keep pets cool 
  • Avoid unnecessary work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

According to Tarrant County Public Health, residents should be alert for heat advisories and emergencies.

The National Weather Service declares a "heat emergency" when the heat index reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for all people, particularly those in high-risk groups.

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