Local doctor shares extreme heat safety tips

Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - It’s that time of year, temperatures are reaching their peak while kids are still trying to enjoy their last few weeks of summer.

Staying in the shade, keeping hydrated and being aware of the people around you are a few ways doctors say to safely beat the heat.

Dr. Charles O’Hearn has worked in the medical field for 40 years and was a medical doctor that served in Iraq. He knows all about staying safe in extreme heat.

“Some people are more high risk obviously younger people, those over 65, people that are overweight, people that have some medical conditions, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease can help that,” said O’Hearn.

As an emergency doctor for ER of Texas, formerly Trusted ER, he said they see heat related illnesses frequently this time of year.

“Don’t leave anybody in a parked car. That can be deadly very quickly,” said O’Hearn.

The 3 steps for heat safety are stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed.

“Stay indoors in air conditioning, that’s the best place to be. If you are outside and you have the option for shade that’s good,” said O’Hearn.

Wearing light colored, loose clothing, pacing yourself in the heat and using the buddy system to keep an eye out for heat related illnesses like sunburn, heat cramps, exhaustion, and stroke .

“You want to replace not only the water but the sodium. If you can do Pedialyte or a liquid IV or something like that it’s much better than just water. Gatorade is okay but it’s high sugar content,” said O’Hearn.

Niki Henderson said she and her 6 and 3 year old daughters visit the splash pad once or twice a week.

“Well I always make sure I pack lots of water. They tend to get super hot when we’re in the water playing in the splash pads. But keeping them hydrated, making sure that they’ve got sunscreen on so they’re not frying in the sun,” said Henderson.

Dr. O’Hearn said the best way to be aware and prepared for the heat is to watch the weather report for heat advisories and the coolest times of day for fun in the sun.

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