Officials Warn About the Dangers of Heat Stroke - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Officials Warn About the Dangers of Heat Stroke

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - We will soon be seeing triple digit temperatures in the Basin and it's important to stay safe in the summer heat. One of the biggest dangers is heat stroke. Young children and the elderly are the most sensitive to heat stroke. In the Permian Basin, there's another group of people at high risk in the summer temperatures.

"In the summer months, they're very very high. Because we also have your workers, we're a very big oil field town. So these guys have to work out in the heat. Luckily company's are becoming more and more aware of that and a lot of them are keeping waters at all the job sites. They have heat thermal scanners that scan their skin to see what temperature they are," said Cindy Burnette, the Outreach Coordinator and Educator for Medical Center Hospital. 

Heat stroke can damage the brain and in some cases, it can end in death.

"Because really if your temperature gets to 104 degrees, organs and things like that can actually start dying. At 107 degrees, death occurs for a lot of people especially the very young and the very old," said Burnette.

Heat stroke occurs when your core body temperature rises above 103 degrees. Some symptoms include red and dry skin, dizziness, disorientation, hallucinations, fainting and vomiting. Often these symptoms strike with no previous signs.

"Once you stop sweating, you're already in your late stages," said Burnette.

So how can people keep an eye out for someone that is at risk for heat stroke?

"When they come in, they need to talk to them and just make sure that they're not agitated, that they're not confused. Don't let them go straight to their rooms without speaking with them because they may not even realize that this is happening to them," said Burnette.

It's also important for parents of young athletes to be aware of the seriousness of heat stroke.

"If they're going to exercise, make sure maybe they don't do it alone so they have people out there to watch their back as well. We just have to be careful. We're in a very hot area," said Burnette.

One of the best ways to prevent heat stroke is staying hydrated.
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