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North Texans experiencing summer early this year amid heatwave

When temperatures get hotter sooner and higher than normal, some outdoor activities can be challenging.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Thousands of people will hit the outdoors as Texas heats up earlier than normal this year, one more reason why medical experts are warning for people to stay safe outside in the sun.

Inez Hernandez is a Texas native. The heat is a somewhat way of life. But when temperatures get hotter sooner and higher than normal, it can be challenging.

"It's really hot, but we're from Texas, so I guess I'm kind of used to the heat a little bit," said Hernandez.

Duane Sutton has lived in Texas for years. He admits he is not the person you want to be around when he gets overheated or uncomfortable during the summer.

Sutton said, "I get crabby when I get when I get hot."

Hot is always a cool conversation with Texans when you are talking about what people do to avoid the heat, especially when it's going to get hotter. 

WFAA Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus is predicting triple digit temperatures. It comes just as more of us are outside in places like Trinity Trails for walking, running, biking and exercising.

John Sims from Safer Care Texas shared there are certain times of the day to try to avoid outside activities in extreme temperatures, especially above the 100-degree mark. 

You should also know how much fluid you need to stay hydrated while exposed to high temps.

"Don't stay in the direct sunlight for a long period of time. And the hottest time of the day is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. So, if you must be out in the sun, don't do your strenuous activities during that time frame. Always stay hydrated and men and women are a little bit different for men," said Sims, "Men should drink about right under four liters a day, whereas women should drink under right under three liters a day to stay hydrated."

People who insist on being active outside may need to up their game on fluid intake even more so, according to Sims.

"If you're doing strenuous activities, then you need to drink more like eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes," said Sims.

Sims gives the same advice to people attending regular events they may have gone to for years. It's easy to go and not think about the dangers of heat. 

Thousands of people visit the stockyards, for example, in Fort Worth every week. Although some events may provide relief from the heat, much of the activity at the stockyards involve the great outdoors.

KC Jones moved to Texas from Detroit, Michigan about 10 years ago. After a decade, she is still adjusting to Texas weather. KC and her mother, Joyce Smith, decided to visit the stockyards this week, which is usually not as hot this soon in the year.

"It's hot as hell right now," said Jones, "Never get used to heat. Yes, because you see, I'm sweating bullets now. We are sweating bullets right now."

Smith said, "It's going to be triple digit next. So, this is cooling off. This is like a cooling off period. So that's what came today."

Sims urges everyone who has elderly family or friends to make it a point to reach out to them during extreme heat. Sims suggests asking a lot of questions, too, just to make sure they are keeping themselves safe and not isolated, especially since the higher temperatures could put a strain on the Texas power grid.

Sutton hopes people are checking on the elderly regardless of the looming heat wave. "If you have elderly people that you don't, you know, stay in touch with very often. Get to all of them. Make sure they're OK."

"You absolutely can overheat," said Sims, "from Safer Care Texas warn You may not even realize getting overheated.

"If my face is starting to get red, I'm complaining of a headache, but I'm saying I'm fine. I'm fine. Let me tell you, when you go into heat exhaustion, you're at risk for that heat stroke. And the best thing for them is to get out of the sun," said Sims.

Sims also warns even in the shade it can still be risky during triple digit temps. He also stressed for people to use sunscreen. However, the best advice is to avoid outside for extended periods when the triple digits hit.

"Wear sunscreen, wear a ventilated hat with advisor to protect your face. Same thing on the hydration. If you're going out to the stockyards, your hydration is probably going to be limited to some adult drinks," said Sims, "Well, that's going to dehydrate you even more. So, you want to avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeine and sugary drinks and replace it with water."

"I'm going to stay inside, said resident Stephanie Avila, "and I'm going to be drinking a lot of cold margaritas, and definitely a lot of water."

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