AUSTIN, Texas — This weekend is likely to be the hottest of the year so far, with heat indexes reaching the triple digits.
Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) has already responded to about a dozen heat-related emergencies this week. That's why medics are urging caution for any outdoor activities.
"The heat index here in Central Texas obviously can be a pretty powerful thing and affect people's health fairly quickly," EMS Captain Darren Noak said.
To beat the heat, ATCEMS advises that you:
- Pre-hydrate and stay hydrated
- Take frequent breaks
- Exercise outdoors earlier in the day or later in the evening
"Recognizing that an issue is coming on related to the heat is also important as well," Noak said.
Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Excessive sweating
- Feeling cold, pale or clammy
If any of those things happen, you may need medical attention.
"We want you to move them out of that environment, get them out of that heat as best you can. An air-conditioned, climate-controlled environment is best," Noak said. "But if you can't do that, at least get them in the shade, start trying to cool them, remove ... the clothing, kind of get ice packs, cold water onto the patient and then obviously call 911.”
Following all of the recent rainfall in Central Texas, there are also safety concerns for anyone spending time on local waterways.
"There's quite a bit of fluctuation with those lake levels. And thus, the topography and the debris and/or underlying hazards that are under the surface is another thing to consider," Noak said.
If you plan to hike or spend time on the water, ATCEMS stresses making sure you know your location and have your cellphone with you in case you end up in a situation where you need help.
So far this summer, local medics have not responded to any calls about children being left in hot cars, but it’s still an issue to remain vigilant about. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Lone Star State usually leads the nation in hot car deaths among children.
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