Staying safe as Houston temperatures climb into the triple digits

The National Weather Service is predicting heat index values will soar up to 105 degrees throughout the weekend in the Houston area. Those required to stay outside for their jobs are preparing to face the heat both physically and mentally.

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Alberto Hernandez has worked in construction for the last 30 years.

"On this job site, we're here about 10 hours a day," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he and his colleagues dress in light, breathable materials from head to toe to help protect their skin.  

"We’re taking breaks and drinking a lot of water and use some light-colored clothing. This is our work, and we have to work to support our families. That’s the way it is," said Hernandez.

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For Josh Williams, who helps collect grocery shopping carts every half hour, maintaining an optimistic attitude makes all the difference.

"Try to stay positive. Try not to think about the heat, you know. Keep a cool mindset and just get through the day," Williams said.

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"Once you get over 100 degrees and our bodies are absorbing that heat, your brain and your body physically cannot get rid of the heat that it’s absorbing," said Dr. Foye Ikyaator, an emergency physician.

Dr. Foye emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated by drinking at least a 16-ounce bottle of water every hour you’re outside, or risk getting sick.

"Symptoms of heat exhaustion would be dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, sometimes vomiting, some cramps; in that case, you need to get out of the heat," Dr. Foye said. "It’s actually not difficult to treat but if you get into the realm of heat stroke, that’s when it becomes a neurological emergency because it can cause organ failure, strokes, seizures, loss of consciousness." 

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"If you’re with a family member and you notice that they’re becoming confused and they’re hot, then they’re creeping into heat stroke and that has a mortality of about 30%." 

Dr. Foye also suggests taking off any tight clothing if you’re feeling those heat-related symptoms and to help cool down and rehydrate by putting wet, damp towels on portions of your body.