SAN ANTONIO (Apr. 18, 2018) – The Battle of Flowers parade is starting earlier this year to avoid the midday heat. Nonetheless, heat can still pose some health concerns for Fiesta goers due to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Metro Health encourages everyone to hydrate well before attending any outdoor events and consider the following tips:
• Avoid sun exposure: Take frequent breaks in a cool or well-ventilated area to get out of the sun and heat. Consider attending events during the cooler part of the day (early morning, late afternoon or night).
• Don't be afraid to sweat: Sweating is the body's most effective cooling mechanism. Cooling occurs as sweat evaporates.
• Become acclimatized: Don't take on strenuous activities too soon if you're not accustomed to the heat. It can take seven to 14 days for the body to fully adapt (or acclimatize) to a hot environment.
• Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of cool water in hot weather conditions. Drink every 15 to 20 minutes whether you feel thirsty or not to replace the fluid loss. Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration.
• Wear appropriate clothing: For protection from the sun and heat, cover up as much as possible with loose-fitting clothes made of breathable, light fabric and cover your head. When you spend time in the sun without a hat, the sun dries your sweat too quickly and prevents it from cooling the body.
• Watch for signs: Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses, and how to respond to them.
Warning signs of heat stroke include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea, or confusion. If a person exhibits any of these signs cool the individual with cool water (not an ice bath) and call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Drinking plenty of water and protecting oneself from the sun are critical precautions when dealing with extended exposure to heat. Sunstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion are possible health effects resulting from this prolonged exposure to heat and heat stroke is likely with exposure to higher temperatures.
Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles, especially during warm days.
Metro Health issues alerts to the public according to its Heat Plan. Metro Health’s heat plan follows the national weather service levels. The format resembles a countdown, with Level IV stating a normal/routine condition and Level I representing a maximum readiness/excessive heat warning. The heat plan provides information on how individuals can prepare for, prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems. Additionally, the plan provides a list of local agencies which will furnish heat-related assistance during extreme heat weather conditions. We encourage individuals to share this plan with anyone who might utilize this information. Click here to access the heat plan.
Community members can contact the National Weather Service for the most current weather conditions at 830-606-3617 or visit www.weather.gov/sanantonio for current hourly weather. Stay tuned for further notices.