The July heat wave has hit the area, and Fort Bend County has recommendations to stay cool and avoid any heat-related illnesses during these 95-degree days.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George wants county residents to take precautions with the hot weather, especially adults 55 and older, children under the age of 5 and people with chronic illnesses. Those people should stay in air-conditioned buildings between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., the hottest part of the day.

The county’s community centers and libraries are also available during business hours for those looking to get out of the heat for an hour or more.

Anyone without access to air-conditioning can seek shelter during business hours at those facilities.

Fort Bend County Public Transit can provide transportation to the county libraries, community centers or other locations. Transportation arrangements can be made by calling (281) 633-7433.

“When temperatures are high, we want everyone to stay cool, hydrated, and informed,” George said. “Those who work outside, senior citizens, infants and children as well as people with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to the heat and should be checked on to ensure their safety.’’

Also, the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department has some tips to avoid heat-related issues like heat stroke and exhaustion.

— Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can result in the loss of body fluid.

— Conduct any 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 in an air-conditioned facility.

— 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 of younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the elderly is not sufficient to determine physical condition.

— Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.

— Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle.

— 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.

— Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.

— Electric fans should only be used in conjunction with an air conditioner. A fan can’t change the temperature of a room; it can only accelerate air movement.

— Stay alert to heat advisories. The National Weather Service declares a Heat Emergency when the heat index, a computation of the air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 degrees is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.

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