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Health officials stress heat, water safety as Fourth of July weekend begins

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:17 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Fourth of July weekend is about to kick off, and health officials say they want to make sure your holiday experience includes safety measures.

With temperatures expected to be in the high 80s, Ashley Kopech, Trauma Director for Baylor Scott & White College Station, says you need to be on the look out for signs of heat exhaustion.

“There are some things you can look for such as dizziness, headache, nausea, heavy sweating,” said Kopech.

Kopech says if you do begin feeling this way after exposure to the sun, you need to find shade or a cooler place to cool off. If you continue experiencing symptoms, seek help.

As our schedules change and we may do things we normally don’t do, Kopech says that also increases the risk of leaving children in hot cars.

“Even if you crack the windows, it doesn’t help,” said Kopech. “Within ten minutes, when you stop the car, it will jump 19 degrees.”

This summer, many may be looking to cool off in pools, lakes, and rivers. With that, comes more safety precautions that The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) says need to be remembered.

“Given the last year and how everyone has had to change their lives, it is hard to say how much we are going to remember the practices we did beforehand. If we go back into it overly excited, I know we want to get outside, get back to normal, but we need to make sure that normal also includes the safety precautions that we have had,” said Mark Wilson, Spokesman for DFPS.

According to DFPS, so far this year 35 children have died from drowning in the state.

Ana Romero, Recreation Manager for the City of College Station, helps manage the pools within the city. She says they want parents to remember some of the guidelines for keeping everyone safe.

“Watch your children, that is all we are asking for parents,” said Romero. “Don’t get comfortable, don’t read the books, don’t be on your phone. Watch the water and watch your children 100% of the time.”

Romero says they expect the weekend to be busy, and even with lifeguards on duty, you still need to keep an eye on your child at all times. Romero says any child 14 and under has to be accompanied by an adult at the pool at all times.

A big part of water safety is learning how to swim. Romero says the city still has spots available, you can find those by clicking here.

The City of Bryan also offers similar training, more information on that can be found here.

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