Texas Mutual Insurance Urges Vigilance Against Rising Heat Stroke Incidents Amid Record-Breaking Texas Heat

Austin, TX – With Texas facing unprecedented heat, Texas Mutual Insurance is urging workers, employers, and anyone spending time outdoors to be vigilant about the signs of heat stroke and to know how to respond quickly before medical help arrives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1,200 Americans die annually from heat-related issues, such as heat stroke. This figure has increased significantly from approximately 700 deaths just a few years ago.

In 2023, the heat claimed more lives in Texas than any other year on record, based on preliminary data. These records date back to 1989. Remarkably, more than twice as many Texans died from heat in 2023 compared to 2011, which was the state’s hottest summer. Despite only a 19% increase in the state’s population over the past 12 years, heat-related deaths have surged, outpacing population growth.

Preventing Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Here are some expert-recommended tips to avoid heat stroke:

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Water is best. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can lead to dehydration.
  • Electrolyte solutions: Use sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions to replace lost salts and minerals, especially if you’re sweating a lot.

Dress Appropriately

  • Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing: Wear light-colored clothes that reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s rays.
  • Hats and sunglasses: Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the sun.

Limit Sun Exposure

  • Stay indoors during peak sun hours: Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade: If you need to be outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible.

Use Sunscreen

  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen: Use SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from sunburn, which can hinder your body’s ability to cool itself.

Take It Easy

  • Limit strenuous activities: Avoid vigorous exercise or work during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks: Rest in a cool or shaded area to give your body time to cool down.

Keep Cool

  • Use air conditioning: Spend time in air-conditioned buildings when possible.
  • Fans and cool showers: Use fans and take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Cool compresses: Apply cool, wet cloths to your skin, especially the head, neck, and armpits.

Acclimate to the Heat

  • Gradually increase activity: Allow your body to adjust to the heat over several days if you’re not used to high temperatures.
  • Build tolerance: Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your outdoor activities.

Know the Signs

  • Recognize symptoms of heat stroke: These include high body temperature (104°F or higher), altered mental state or behavior, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and racing heart rate.
  • Act quickly: If you or someone else shows signs of heat stroke, move to a cooler place, drink water, and seek medical attention immediately.

By following these tips, Texans can help prevent heat stroke and stay safe during this period of extreme heat.

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