Going outside? Beware of heat exhaustion as summer heats up

Wednesday marks the first day of summer and around Amarillo, weather conditions are certainly perfect for the occasion -- hot!

But that also means folks should be wary of excessive heat exposure and things like heat exhaustion. One Amarillo mother, Toby Stogner, said she feels her five-year-old son is already at a higher risk of the damaging effects of the sun.

"It worries me especially because I have a really pale son," she said. "We have to make sure we pack on the sun block and keep him out of the sun as much as possible."

Already, some folks around the area are feeling the effects of the heat. On Tuesday, members of the Pronews 7 news team heard at least three calls go out over the scanners for medical service for people who were suffering from heat exhaustion. But it's not just heat exhaustion folks need to be worried about. From 1979 to 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 8,015 deaths from excessive heat-related exposure.

Other parents and grandparents in Amarillo said that's why they take extra caution when spending time with their families outdoors.

"We use sun lotion and drink plenty of fluids," said local grandfather Ron Bennett.

"We usually stay out for 45 minutes to an hour and then get a snow cone, he always has a drink in his car," said Amarillo mother-of-two Patty Buller. "So, we don't stay out longer than an hour."

Some of the more obvious symptoms of heat exhaustion are red or splotchy skin, dizziness, nausea, weakness, tiredness, paleness and heavy sweating. Should you or someone you know experience any of those symptoms, the CDC recommends getting out of the heat immediately, drinking cool, non-alcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower and resting.

A more serious consequence sometimes caused by overheating is a heat stroke. When a person is about to experience a heat stroke they might have very red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a headache, confusion, a rapid pulse and a temperature of more than 103 degrees Fahrenheight. In that situation, the CDC recommends getting medical assistance immediately, getting the person to a shady area and cooling them with whatever means you can but DO NOT give them any fluids to drink.