WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — June 20 marked the official first day of summer and we all know summer brings with it, a season of hot Texas temperatures.
There’s something about a big splash in the pool on a hot summer day, but before even thinking about jumping in, make sure you’ve checked “apply sunscreen” off your list.
“Even on cloudy days, those harmful UV rays are coming through and causing burns and causing issues, so you want to have the same practices as on a sunny day,” United Regional Physician Group internal medicine physician Dr. Bryan Stroud said.
Besides your skin, Stroud said hydration is key to staying safe in this blistering Texas heat.
“Drinking water, even when you don’t feel thirsty, making sure you’re replacing electrolytes with some type of sports drink, Gatorade or Powerade is a good one,” Stroud said. “I like to dilute it with some water so it’s not as sugary, especially for those with diabetes that’s a way that they can stay hydrated and get their electrolytes at the same time.”
Remembering to bring a water bottle or sports drink along could keep you on the soccer field rather than in the back of an ambulance.
“There’s a wide range of that come from excessive heat and lack of hydration, ranging from heat exhaustion all the way to heat stroke,” Stroud said.
“The initial symptoms are usually fatigue and then start to profusely sweat and then you start to get into the dangerous signs where you stop sweating, you feel extremely fatigued to the point where you feel like you’re passing out and eventually can lose consciousness and have stroke like symptoms which can cause other organ failures as well.
If you’re on the bike trail or maybe out on the golf course and start to feel these effects, Stroud has some tips for what to do next.
“Get into a shaded area right away, increase your hydration, splash cold water on your face,” Stroud said.
As for who is most vulnerable to things like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, it’s kids and the elderly. Especially those with underlying health conditions.
“Patients with significant heart disease and high blood pressure that take medicines to help them urinate more are at higher risk for dehydration,” Stroud said.
For those at higher risk of feeling drained by the sun, Stroud said plan ahead by scheduling outdoor adventures for the morning or late evening.
It’s also important to pace yourself if you do have to be outside for a while.
Physicians with United Regional suggest taking extra breaks to drink that glass of water, or sit in the shade for a bit
One final tip is to make sure you have a blast this summer!