Hot Texas Summers: Be Careful Out There!
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 19, 2012, July 19, 2012

During the extreme heat this week the City of Arlington strongly urges caution and common sense in keeping cool and safe. Preparations to protect yourself, family and pets during extended periods of heat include staying indoors during the hottest times of the day, seeking recreational opportunities in air-conditioned locations such as city libraries or recreation centers, and knowing the signs of heat related illnesses.

Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the City recommends the following:

  • Keep windows and blinds closed- While the sun is up, keeping windows and doors closed will allow the house to stay as cool as possible for the longest amount of time.
  • Stay downstairs- If you live in a home with two stories or a basement, staying downstairs can also keep your cooler. Heat rises to the upper floors of your household so staying downstairs makes a big difference.
  • Use plenty of water and Ice- Water is a great way to cool off. Take a cool bath or shower during the day. You can also soak your feet in an ice bath to cool down. Get a spray bottle that is filled with cold water and spray on your face and neck throughout the day.
  • Keep the lights off- Keeping unnecessary lights on in your home can actually raise the temperature of your indoor air. Also avoid using ovens and stoves during the day which can also create unwanted heat.
  • Go out- On the days that are the hottest, take advantage of your local businesses and City of Arlington public facilities, such as recreation centers or libraries that have lots of shade or air conditioning.
  • Use Fans - If you do not have air conditioning in your home, use box fans in a window with the air intake pushing air to the outside. During the evening you should reverse the fan to pull cool evening air into the house. If you have a box fan you can create a little homemade air conditioning. Set a tub of ice water behind the fan and wait. The cool air will be pulled away from the tub and cool down your home.

If You Must Be Outside

  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels).
  • Monitor the condition of co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.

Other helpful hints:

  • Keep in mind that pets are also affected by heat. Make sure that you keep them safe, comfortable, and supplied with plenty of water.
  • Avoid eating large meals since they will make your metabolism increase which will raise your body temperature.
  • Be careful and drink lots of clear fluids. Dehydration and death are unfortunate realities that can occur from not taking necessary precautions during a heat wave.
  • Wear light-weight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Make sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives during heat waves. The elderly are especially susceptible to heat related illnesses.
  • Recognize the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves, according to the National Center of Environmental Health. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are the elderly, people with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Heat Exhaustion can include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

Heat Stroke can include:

  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Recreation Centers and libraries are open to citizens seeking relief from the heat during normal operating hours.

Recreation Center Facilities operating hours

Libraries operating hours

Hot Texas Summers