Heat Safety

Texas summers are long and hot! As temperatures rise, it’s important to take precautions to stay healthy and prevent heat-related illness and death. Knowing the proper way to handle the heat as well as the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke can save lives. 


The most basic way to prevent heat-related illness is to limit your time in the sun and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. When you are exposed to the sun or you must be in the heat for an extended period of time, protect yourself and others by following these precautions:

  • Hydrate:  Drink at least 16 ounces of water for every hour spent in the heat
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and often
  • Dress in light colored, loose fitting and breathable clothing
  • Replenish electrolytes by eating salty snacks
  • Always have at least one other person with you, so you can look out for each other
  • Take frequent breaks

Heat and Vehicles

Temperatures inside parked vehicles can increase to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes and leaving the windows cracked does not provide adequate relief from the heat. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time. Leave an object, such as a cell phone or purse in the backseat to remind you to check before you walk away from your vehicle. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911. 

Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness

Pay attention to your body as well as anybody with you as heat-related illnesses can develop quickly. If not treated immediately or effectively heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which is life threatening. 

Heat Exhaustion

If these warning signs are present, please treat symptoms immediately
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Excessive sweating

Heat Stroke

If these warning signs are present, please call 911 and treat symptoms immediately
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • No sweating
  • Loss of consciousness

Treating Heat-Related Illness

At the first sign of heat exhaustion, it's important to cool the body down:

  • Move to the shade or an air-conditioned place
  • Drink fluids slowly
  • Take a cool shower or use cold compresses

If heat stroke is suspected, seek medical help immediately:

  • Call 911
  • Move to the shade or an air-conditioned place
  • Apply cold compresses