Triple Digit Temperatures a Danger

7-27-05 - We’ve arrived at the hottest time of the year in Texoma, and it’s important to take precaution. Often times, many of us don’t know the warning signs that lead to dehydration, exhaustion, or even heat stroke.

Dr. Duke Carlson, M.D., says the Texoma Medical Center Emergency Room sees many patients with heat-related illness at this time of year. He explains the difference between heat exhaustion and stroke:

“When someone's sweating, they're able to focus, and their mind is clear, that usually is heat exhaustion. When a person starts to have changes in their conscience, and become confused, that can be a sign of heat stroke, ” he says.

The elderly and the very young are most vulnerable, as are those who don’t have air-conditioned homes. The Grayson County Health Department encourages those people to visit public, air-conditioned locations, like the local Senior SNAP Center, or public library to get out of the heat. Many Sherman residents, like Eugene Kelly, frequent the Sherman Senior Center this time of year.

“I thank God that they make this place available for the senior citizens of this town, that we have a nice place to go and get out of the weather,” says Kelly, enjoying the shade of the center’s front porch.

To help prevent heat-related illness, doctors advise to keep time spent outdoors down to just a few hours when the temperatures are high. Wear loose clothing to allow heat to escape the body, and place wet towels to cool skin that feels hot. While it’s important to drink plenty of water, Dr. Carlson says to replace every third water bottle with a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.