TYLER, Texas (KETK) — As summer temperatures consistently rock East Texas, it’s important to stay safe and keep yourself protected in extreme heat. Here is your guide to staying safe and cool in these hot temperatures.

Extreme heat is defined as a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days, according to Ready, a U.S. government campaign designed to educate the American people.

Children, those older than 65 and people who are sick or overweight are at a greater risk of heat-related illness. Humidity helps to increase the feeling of heat, experts say.

It is recommended by Ready and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people prepare for extreme heat and know how to be safe during it. Here are a few tips for doing both:

Tips for staying cool

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, but stay away from very sugary drinks
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors during midday heat if possible
  • Wear sunscreen, sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated
  • Watch for heat-related illnesses
  • Consider pet safety. For pets outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to shade
  • Take cool showers or baths
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars
  • Stay up to date on heat advisories from local weather sources
  • Pace yourself. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.


  • Cover windows with drapes of shades
  • Use weather strips on doors and windows
  • Use window reflectors to reflect heat back outside
  • Add insulation in your home to keep the heat out
  • Identify cool places to go in the community such as libraries and shopping malls or contact the local health department to find a cooling center near you
  • Do not rely on fans as a primary cooling device

Signs of heat-related illness

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. The CDC says if exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for air, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint. The CDC provided the following signs and what to do if you or someone around you suffers from a heat-related illness.

Heat Stroke

What to look for:

  • High body temperature
  • Hot, red, dry or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness

What to do:

  • Call 911 right away
  • Do not give the person anything to drink
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath

Heat Exhaustion

What to look for:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

What to do:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on body or take a cool bath
  • Sip water

Get help immediately if you are throwing up, if symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour.

Heat Cramps

  • Heavy sweating during intense exercise
  • Muscle pain or spasms

What to do:

  • Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
  • Drink water or a sports drink
  • Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity

Get help immediately if cramps last longer than one hour, if you’re on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems.