WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — Heat safety in Texas is no joke, as many experience a variety of heat related injuries or illnesses during the summer season.
“When you’re thinking of summer heat, think of it in two different ways,” Ryan Dirker said, the McLennan County EMA Assistant Coordinator. “A: hide from the sun. B: keep cool.”
Texas summer is no easy season and there are many different ways people can get hurt or sick from the sun and heat.
The one most common to people is sun burn, but depending on the UV rays, it can turn into a second or even third degree burn.
“The sun, given a certain amount of intensity and the proper amount of time can give you the same sort of burdens that you would get in a house fire,” he said. “It’s not to be played with, and it is certainly very dangerous.”
Other illnesses include heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. Dirker says the best way to avoid being injured by the heat is to use preventative measures.
“If you can wear long sleeved materials and long sleeves and long pants, if you are working, make sure that those materials are breathable,” he said. “Don’t go outside in jeans because yes, it’ll keep the sunlight off of you, but it’ll also stifle you in the temperatures. So breathable materials are always a plus, but it goes back. I think overall to water.”
He also recommends making sure your windows on your home are insulated, closing the blinds to keep the sunlight out, and getting a sun shield for your car windshield, because if it’s 100 degrees outside it could be fifty degrees hotter in your car.
“Now, if you have leather seats, take that 150 degrees and make it 175 if that touches your leg, we’re talking about second degree burns,” he said. “So that’s that’s something to be cognizant of. So if you’re able to reflect a lot of that sunlight, it’ll significantly cool your car down.”
Dirker emphasized that water is one of the most important items to have on you. He did say to not overstock and buy out all the water but to be prepared and always have some on you in case of an emergency.