Triple digit temperatures are expected rest of the week, how to avoid heat stress
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
El Pasoans can expect triple digit temperatures the rest of the week starting Wednesday. Heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Atom Tidmore said he knows the brutal El Paso heat far too well
"You sit in the sun and you will cook,” Tidmore said. "I live on the street and so this is what we do!"
He searches for the perfect spot on days like this. On Monday, KFOX14 found him sitting in the shade in a West El Paso shopping center.
"I'm right here because there is shade obviously. It's cool. There's a breeze coming by,” Tidmore said. “But 5 feet that way? Forget about it!"
Dr. Travis Cosban is an emergency medicine physician at Las Palmas Medical Center he said the Sun City sees a lot of heat-related injuries.
"Heat-related injuries in the United States account for about 500 to 600 deaths per year. It's a very common thing that can send people to the hospital,” Dr. Cosban said. “It's more common than floods, tornadoes, all those things combined."
Dr. Cosban said if you have lived in El Paso for a long time, your body can acclimate to the heat. But if you have been gone for a while or we get a big heat wave, the heat can sneak up on you.
"El Paso is tricky because you don't sweat as much here because of the dryness,” Dr. Cosban said. “So we often times don't realize how much water we are losing and how dehydrated we are getting."
He said preparation is key to avoid heat stress. Symptoms include excess sweat, faster heart rate, nausea, headache and fatigue.
Chris Thummel, a UTEP senior, skateboards to class to avoid the heat.
"It will save me 10 minutes from my car to my class, that can help me a lot,” Thummel said. “I feel the heat digging into my skin.”
"I had a meeting in this building, but I drove from my other building to minimize the amount of time I had to walk,” said Suzanne Ashour-Bailey, the assistant dean for student affairs at UTEP’s College Of Health. “So right now, we're parked right across the street. But even just that walk from the parking lot to here! You could fry an egg!"
Tidmore has tricks to keep cool, like drinking 14 cups of water a day.
"What me and another friend do we put ice on our chest,” Tidmore said. “We lay down and we take turns putting ice on our chest. A bag of ice!"
Dr. Cosban said El Pasoans should prhydrate before stepping outside, and wear sunscreen, hats and loose-fitting clothing.