Avoiding Heat Injuries


Bright sun with high temperatures shown on thermometer in Celcius and Farenheit

Even short periods of extreme heat -- 90 degrees or more for several consecutive days -- can cause serious health problems if people are not aware or careful.

Anyone is at risk of heat injury if they stay outside too long on a hot day, or stay in areas where there is little or no air conditioning or air circulation.

A range of injuries

Heat injuries can be as mild as a sunburn or as life-threatening as a heat stroke. Here's a list of heat injuries, along with tips to help handle and avoid them:

Preventing Heat Injuries

  • STAY COOL. Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.
  • STAY HYDRATED. Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • STAY INFORMED. Stay updated on local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely when it’s hot outside.



Air quality and high temperatures

Higher temperatures also heat the air and, under certain conditions, produce ozone, which can affect the health of individuals with respiratory conditions. TCPH's Environmental Health division provides additional information to help residents Be Air Aware.


Heat-related Illness Reports

Tarrant County Public Health conducts syndromic surveillance for heat-related illnesses during the summer and maintains data on heat-related illnesses and deaths in the county. Heat-related deaths are reported to us by the County's Medical Examiner.


 Hot Weather Checklists

baby in car seat

Do not leave children or animals in parked vehicles

  • Children and animals left inside parked cars can be overcome by heat within minutes when outdoor temperatures are high.
  • Put your purse, briefcase, wallet or another essential item behind you so you’ll notice your child is there before exiting the vehicle.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a vehicle.



senior with fan

Maintain adequate ventilation / air conditioning

  • Stay in cooled environments as much as possible, especially if you have a low tolerance for heat.
  • Some people turn off their air conditioning, do not run it long enough, or may not have access to fans or other devices that help circulate cool air. Unless people have a high tolerance for heat, this practice puts them at risk for heat-related injury.
  • Neighbors, friends and family should regularly check on the elderly when the temperatures are high for a prolonged period of time.
bright sun shining on young woman


Avoid overexposure

  • Anyone outside in high temperatures for prolonged periods is at risk of heat injury, especially those involved in outdoor athletic programs at youth organizations and schools.
  • Directors of outdoor programs should carefully monitor participants, ensure that they have plenty of water to drink and allow sufficient time between practice sessions and workouts to cool down.


construction woman feeling heat


Watch for signs of heat injury

  • Symptoms include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak but rapid pulse and headaches.
  • People with these symptoms should find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation; if symptoms don’t improve, seek medical attention.



man drinking water after workout

Additional hot-weather tips:

  • Plan strenuous activities for cooler times of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks to cool down if you have to work outside.
  • Eat lighter, balanced meals more often.
  • Wear plenty of sun block if you are out in the sun, and protect your eyes.
  • Do not overdress babies or bundle them in a blanket.
  • Consult your doctor if you are taking certain prescription medicines to determine how the sun and heat may affect you.