The Fourth of July is upon us, and summer celebrations are in full swing in the Brazos Valley. Summer is a time for backyard barbecue, pool parties, vacations and lazy days, a time to get out and enjoy life. But summer is also the deadliest time of the year in our area. Texas is known for being hot, and College Station is no exception. With temperatures soaring past 100, it’s more important than ever to be prepared to keep you and your family safe this summer!
Heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. However, there are a number of measures you can take to beat the heat and still have fun! One of the biggest pieces of advice given by the National Weather Service is to drink plenty of water. Water is a component in your body’s temperature control system. As such, it is vital that you get enough. It is recommended that you stay away from carbonated or alcoholic drinks during the hottest parts of the day, since that’s when your body needs to be hydrated the most.
Another measure to prevent overheating is to stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day. If you need to be out, it is recommended that you go out early or later, after the hottest parts of the day are done. The middle of the day is a good time to catch the latest movie, or visit a library, or really anything that keeps you out from under the sun. Grand Station Entertainment is running summer specials every night, and Cinemark has great pricing for students and early bird specials during the day.
Cars are a huge hazard during the summer that many people don’t think about. The inside of a car can rise to over 40 degrees hotter than outside in just one hour. It is extremely important that both children and adults understand the dangers of being in a car during the summer. The National Weather Service stresses to never leave children unattended in cars, even for short periods of time. Also, make sure your children understand that cars are not a good place to play during the summer. Adults are not safe either. It is recommended to never stay in your stay in your car with the engine off for extended periods of time, as heat exhaustion can set in quickly.
The three major medical emergencies that can arise from getting too hot are heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
* Heat cramps are muscle spasms or cramps and heavy sweating. If you’re experiencing heat cramps, it is recommended that you apply pressure or gently massage the muscle and sip water.
*Heat exhaustion is usually identified by heavy sweating, dizziness, feelings of weakness, cool or clammy skin and a weak pulse. If you or somebody near you is suffering from heat exhaustion, it is important that you get them out of the heat as soon as possible! Get them to a cool, air conditioned room with a fan, offer sips of water and apply cool damp cloths to their forehead.
*Heat stroke is by far the most severe. Signs of heat stroke are high body temperature, rapid pulse, altered mental state, possible unconsciousness and possible headache. If you or anyone around you is suffering from a heat stroke, SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. Do not give the person water. Reduce body temperature by moving them to an air conditioned room and misting with cool water. Most importantly, call an ambulance or take them to the hospital immediately!
Summer is a time to play and have fun, but it can also be dangerous! Make sure to follow some general safety precautions to make sure you and your family get the most out of the break. Happy Fourth of July to everyone!