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Doctors urge caution for people working in the summer heat

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 19:57:22-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — Summer comes with a lot of fun in the sun but it also comes with dangerously high temperatures that could lead to injury.

It is scorching outside and while some people get to work in the A/C, others have to battle the heat.

”You know the first heat-related illness is dehydration. That's one we have all experienced and if not, then we will. There's also heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Dr. Laura Irvin, Sports Medicine Physician with Baylor Scott & White.

All of which are dangerous with heat stroke being the most severe.

”That can be fatal. So, we do take it very seriously. Signs of that is when someone starts to become confused, they may be sleepy, and again when you stop sweating.” said Dr. Irvin.

More than an hour in the hot sun can lead to injuries, making jobs like road construction very dangerous in the summer.

It's something TxDOT says they take very seriously.

”TxDOT is always reminding its workers, its crew members, and their contractors that staying safe in the heat is critically important. TxDOT is all about safety. Whether it’s for the traveling public or TxDOT personnel or its contractors.” said Public Information Officer Jake Smith.

That is why TxDOT has a plan in place for crews working in the summer heat.

”Hydrating, wearing sunscreen, ensuring that you are staying safe in that heat, and have a buddy system so you can be on the lookout and observing to see if you see any early signs of heat illness. Takin as many breaks as you need. Just so you can withstand the unrelenting heat we are experiencing right now,” said Smith.

If you or someone you know is experiencing severe heat illness, it is important to call 911 immediately and take steps to cool down while you wait.

”Stopping the activity immediately. If there is not a cold tub, put as many cool rags on them as possible. Putting them in the shade or getting them inside. Those are great steps while we’re waiting for 911 to respond.” said Dr. Irvin.

The big takeaway, if you are working outside drink plenty of water, take breaks when you need to, wear sunscreen, and be on the lookout for any heat-related injuries.