Texans could be at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses this summer as temperatures reach triple digits.

Current situation

The National Weather Service has been reporting “dangerously hot temperatures” across the Dallas-Fort Worth area with temperatures reaching 105 and more in some areas.

Both a heat advisory and an excessive heat warning are in effect across the DFW through July 19 with officials recommending people stay safe if going outside, according to their website.

What the experts say

High temperatures are a well-known health risk. The U.S. alone typically sees more than 67,000 emergency department visits due to heat every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A July 5 news release from Medical City Healthcare provided a list of safety tips and warning signs to stay safe this summer.

Here is what Medical City Healthcare recommends North Texans do to prevent heat illness:
  • Stay informed of local weather news and heat alerts.
  • Go outdoors only when necessary and avoid being outside or doing a strenuous activity during the hottest time of day.
  • Take frequent breaks when outside.
  • Stay hydrated, start drinking fluids before going outdoors and drink often throughout the day.
  • Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Remember to check on at-risk family members, friends, neighbors and pets.
Heat-related illnesses can occur in stages and can potentially be exacerbated by pre-existing physical and health, according to the news release.

Here are some of the warning signs to be aware of:
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Racing heart
  • The absence of sweating
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Throbbing headache
  • Changes in speech or behavior, including confusion, agitation, seizures and coma
One more thing

As the heat continues, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is also reporting record-breaking energy demand as Texans try to stay cool.

A “weather watch” was issued by ERCOT for July 16-18 to notify users of potential periods of high demand during those days. No action is necessary during a weather watch as grid capacity continues to meet demand.

If demand does outpace grid capacity, ERCOT could request residents voluntarily conserve energy by slightly raising the temperature in their homes or not using large appliances. The last voluntary request from ERCOT was in late June.

Texans can sign up for weather watch notifications and other ERCOT weather alerts here.