Monday, December 4, 2023

Southlake Summer Safety: Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

You don’t have to be a weather expert to know it is hot outside. With temperatures soaring and summer only halfway through, we have a few more safety tips to beat the heat.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a leisurely day outside, especially with fun activities such as Stars and Stripes and the Fourth of July just around the corner. Whether you are visiting Bicentennial Park, fishing at the Bob Jones Fishing Pier, playing at the Chesapeake Park playground, or hiking at the Nature Center, with the summer temperatures often rising into the triple digits, it’s important to stay vigilant of heat-related safety risks.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common risks during outdoor activities in high temperatures. As you plan your Independence Day activities and summer outings, ensure you know the difference between the two to stay safe in Southlake.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a response to excessive sweating due to high temperatures. It’s often a precursor to heat stroke and occurs when the body overheats and dehydrates. If you experience heat exhaustion, you may feel fatigued, dizzy, nauseated, sweat excessively, and get a headache.

Heat Stroke
This severe condition occurs when the body loses its ability to control its temperature and cannot cool down. It is a serious heat-related illness that requires immediate medical attention. Heat stroke symptoms include confusion or altered mental status, loss of consciousness, profuse sweating, seizures, and very high body temperature.

While recognizing the symptoms of these two heat-related illnesses is vital, knowing how to prevent them is just as important. Here are some steps to stay safe during the hot summer months.

  • Hydration is Key– Drinking enough water throughout the day is vital to stay hydrated. This includes drinking water before, during, and after outdoor activities.
  • Stay in the Shade– Seek out shady areas to decrease direct exposure to the heat. Take breaks often and plan your activities in the mornings or evenings.
  • Layer lightly– protect your skin with lightweight and light-colored clothing to reflect the sunlight. Glasses and hats add an extra layer of protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen– apply and reapply generously as you spend time outdoors.
  • Don’t overdo it– listen to your body and look out for any heat-related illness symptoms.

Knowing the difference between these common heat-related illnesses and following these prevention tips can help you stay safe in Southlake this summer.

Staying Safe and Cool in a Southlake Summer

Summer is the busiest time of year for Parks and Recreation professionals because it’s the best time for families to spend time outside doing what they love!

Nothing beats a lazy day lounging by the pool, exploring a new playground, or training for the Fall Athletic season during the summer months. However, Southlake summers can be unforgiving, and practicing summer safety is crucial.

Here are a few summer safety tips to keep in mind as you get out and explore our incredible recreation amenities this summer.

Dress for Success
Our Southlake residents are always fashionable, but it’s imperative to remember to dress for the heat. Styling light colors is a great way to reflect harmful sun rays while keeping cool. Add some light layers made of breathable fabric for added sun protection. Dress for success when you visit our world-class Southlake parks and playgrounds! Don’t forget to snap a “fit pic” for the gram!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Don’t forget to drink water when spending time outside! Drinking enough water is vital any time of the year, but it is essential when it’s hot. Start your day with a glass in the morning and add another to every meal. Grab a fun reusable bottle to take to the pool, the playground, and the winding trails of the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Our Parks professionals always carry extra water around, and you should too!

Timing is Everything
The summer days are long, and the number of fun activities is endless. If spending time outdoors is part of your daily routine, adjust your schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings and evenings are the best time of day to schedule a tennis or pickleball match with friends, walk your dog, or take your little one to the park! Mid-mornings to early afternoons can be the hottest hours of the day. Beat the heat during that time by checking out Champions Club and enjoying our indoor Aquatics Center!

Apply and Reapply
Finally, apply sunscreen! Your skin is your biggest organ, so show it some big love this summer by generously applying sunscreen when you go out. Sweat and water can limit the benefits of sunscreen, so make sure you reapply every two hours for maximum protection.

There are many ways to stay cool and safe in Southlake this summer. Remember these tips, and you’ll create many life-long memories!

Tips to “Beat The Heat” this Summer in Southlake

Citizens of Southlake and North Texas are no strangers to high temperatures and humidity during the summer months. Every year, people across the country die due to heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to know what you can do to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. That’s why the City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants you to “Beat the Heat” this summer and learn precautions that can be taken during excessive heat.

Below you will find basic information on heat injury prevention and resources available to the community to stay cool.


  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment must start slowly and gradually increasing heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of sweat.
  • NEVER leave children, senior citizens, or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a short time!
  • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
  • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
  • Check on the elderly. Take the initiative to visit seniors to look for signs of heat-related illnesses. It takes the elderly nearly twice the time younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the frail elderly is not sufficient to determine the condition of the senior or the home.
  • Drink more than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are drinking enough water.
  • Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
  • Keep informed by listening to local weather and news.
  • Keep your friends, family, and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information. For more information on extreme heat, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.


Extreme heat brings with it the possibility of heat-related illnesses. The following table lists these illnesses, their symptoms, and the first aid treatment.


Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating

First Aid

  • Get the victim to a cooler location.
  • Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.
  • Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.

Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed – weak pulse. Average body temperature is possible, but the temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.

First Aid

  • Get the victim to lie down in a cool place.
  • Loosen or remove clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet clothes.
  • Fan or move the victim to an air-conditioned place.
  • Give sips of water if the victim is conscious.
  • Be sure water is consumed slowly.
  • Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.

A severe medical emergency

High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. The victim will probably not sweat unless they were sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.

First Aid

  • Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler environment.
  • Removing clothing Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.
  • Watch for breathing problems.
  • Use extreme caution.
  • Use fans and air conditioners.​

Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches

First Aid

  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.
  • Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.


  • Turn the thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees.
  • Set programmable thermostats to higher temp when no one is home.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Limit the use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.)
  • If you cook indoors, use a microwave or slow cooker.
  • Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours.
  • Unplug devices when you’re not using them.
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights.
  • Close blinds and drapes during the late afternoon.

Other Resources:

Tracking the power grid capacity:

How to track power outages/report power outages: