A warning to Houston: How to prevent heat stroke as temperatures begin to climb into triple digits

Briana Conner Image
Monday, May 20, 2024
Signs of heat stroke: How to spot them as temperatures rise in Houston
ABC13 spoke with Dr. John Feinstein, an emergency medicine doctor at Memorial Hermann, on what a person should do to prevent overheating.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston is beginning to dry out after a stretch of severe weather and flooding, but that means it's getting hotter!

This week, the temperature is in the 90s; when you factor in humidity, it'll feel closer to 100 degrees. An emergency medicine doctor from Memorial Hermann Memorial City warns people to pay attention to their bodies.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, which alert you that your body is overheating. You may also experience muscle cramping, fatigue, headache, or dizziness. However, a heat stroke is much more severe. It occurs when your body temperature exceeds 104 degrees, and you begin to become confused.

RELATED: Extreme heat dangers and safety tips: What you need to know

To avoid these conditions, experts recommend wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and limiting time outside during the day. Keep in mind that the heat is typically most intense between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

If you can't avoid being outside for extended periods, finding a cool area to rest and taking frequent breaks are essential. It's also extremely important to never leave a child or animal in a vehicle for any period of time.

Children can overheat four times faster than adults. Always check your car before leaving it to ensure no one is in there.

WATCH HERE: Participants sit in vehicle with temps surpassing 120 degrees to bring awareness to hot car deaths

Dr. Joshua Feinstein said that most people impacted by the heat need fluids, food, and rest in cooler temperatures. However, he warned that repeated heat illness can lead to severe heat injury.

"If those same folks repeat that effort outside and don't stay hydrated, and perhaps do too much the second time you get it in a short period of time, it makes it even worse," he said.

It's also important to stay hydrated. If you're exposed to the outdoors, you should drink about eight ounces of water every 20 minutes. This will help with the loss of moisture you will experience while sweating.

People are also advised to avoid drinks high in caffeine and sugar.

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, X and Instagram.