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Without a doubt, you've stepped outside in East Texas over the past week and you've probably uttered the words 'Dang it's hot out here'! In reality, it's not really the heat that's an issue, it's the humidity. Simply going to your home to your truck and then to the office you feel drenched with sweat and just how oppressive the humidity has been recently.

For anyone working outdoors, like the lineman working to restore power for thousands of East Texans after last Thursday's devastating storm, or lawn care, construction, or taking orders at the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A, these guys and gals must pay attention to what their body is telling them or they could end being hospitalized from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you have an occupation that requires you to work outdoors one of the most important things to do is to stay hydrated and find shade when at all possible. If your body gets overheated there will be signs that you must pay attention too. Here are the following things to look for and to know

The difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Signs of HEAT EXHAUSTION include:

  • headache
  • dizzy or fainting
  • heavy sweating
  • cold, pale and clammy skin
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fast, weak pulse
  • weakness or muscle cramps
  • excessive thirst

Signs of HEAT STROKE

  • headache
  • confusion or delerium
  • may lose consciousness
  • no sweating or dry skin
  • hot, red skin
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rapid heart rate
  • body temperature above 104 degrees
National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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Here's what to do if someone is showing signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke:

In the case of HEAT STROKE - call 9-1-1, this is a medical emergency. Move the person to a cooler place and use a cold compress to reduce body temperature and do not give them fluids.

In the case of HEAT EXHAUSTION - hydrate with water or a sports drink, move to an air-conditioned room and lie down. Sip on water, use a cold compress, and remove tight-fitting or extra layers of clothing. If untreated, heat exhaustion can transition to heat stroke.

Like humans, your pets can be affected by heat exhaustion and heat stroke as well. Their care is a little bit different. So if you have an outdoor dog or cat, check on them often and bring them indoors during the hottest part of the day. They deserve air conditioning too.

Stay hydrated and carefully watch the signs that your body is giving you.

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