The rising Texas temperatures are a relief after what felt like a very long, cold winter. While it’s great to see flowers blooming and sunshine, it’s also a good idea to prepare for the very hot days we will see over the next few months.
Hot summer temperatures and high humidity put people at risk for heat-related illness, and sadly, even death. Taking steps now to beat the Texas heat can be lifesaving!
Last year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned that Texas was one of three states in which 40 percent of heat-related deaths occurred between 1999-2009!
Seniors, age 65 years and older, were more likely to die from extreme heat; so were people who lived by themselves.
To Prevent Heat-Related Illness
If you have air conditioning at home, stay at home and cool off as often as you can. If you do not have air conditioning at home, you should:
- Go to a place that is air conditioned, like a library or community center
- Contact community resources by calling 2-1-1 or your Area Agency on Aging to see if they can help you.
- Click here for information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
It’s also important to drink water throughout the day! Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink. You can help yourself stay hydrated and cool off with these tips:
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
- Wear loose, light-colored, lightweight clothes.
- Try not to be out during the hottest times of the day. Pace your activities!
- If you are outside use sunscreen and stay out of direct sunlight.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Check on elderly friends, neighbors and relatives to be sure they’re okay.
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
There are two main types of heat-related illness: Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion. Heat stroke is the most serious. Muscle cramps can be the first warning of being overheated.
If you see these signs
Do these things
| Heat Stroke:
| Heat Exhaustion:
Click here for a short video from the CDC about staying cool in extreme heat.