SAN ANTONIO – The heat is no joke this summer. We had 39 days of 100 degrees or more, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
The summer heat can have a huge impact on your health and well-being.
“It’s very important to take care of your body when it’s hot outside because the consequences, unfortunately, can be deadly,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at Texas A&M University.
Last year, University Hospital’s emergency department saw 14 heat-related cases in their facility through May and July. This year, they have seen 36 during the same time period.
KSAT 12 meteorologists say this is most likely due to more days reaching heat index values of 105 degrees or more this summer.
Dr. Jessica Solis-McCarthy, assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at UT Health San Antonio who practices at University Hospital’s emergency department, says staying hydrated while outside is important, so you need to replenish your electrolytes.
“You will dilute the electrolytes in your body and cause what’s called hyponatremia or low salt, that’s low salt in your body,” McCarthy said.
It’s recommended to stay indoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you have to be outside, there are a few things you can do to help stay cool.
- Wear light-colored and thin clothing
- Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes
- Stay away from tobacco, alcohol and caffeine
- Make sure you are taking frequent breaks in the shade
“It could be a difference of like 20 degrees Fahrenheit from the direct sun to the shade,” said McCarthy.
It’s also important to be able to recognize when you are starting to feel sick.
To learn more about heat-related illnesses and heat stroke, click here.