Texas Panhandle heat wave making an impact on everyone

VIDEO: Texas Panhandle heat wave making an impact on everyone

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Doctors say the best thing to do during this heat wave is to stay indoors.

Many who work jobs outside don’t have that option, so the next best thing is preparation.

“Heat related illnesses tend to be subtle. You don’t just immediately feel bad. You may start feeling a little more tired, then you might feel cramps, nausea, a little bit of fatigue, and then later in the course of the illness, things like confusion and lethargy and your body starting to shut down. Those are late stage signs that we want to be able to avoid long before you ever get to that,” said Dr. Rodney Young, M.D. FAAFP Texas Tech Physicians, Family Medicine Physician.

You hear the ways to stay safe from the heat every year, but Dr. Young says the average of 50 yearly deaths caused by heat related illness in Texas are completely preventable.

“If you say 50 people die from it right after you say the statistics on how many people have died from COVID or the flu or something like that, it sounds like a low number, but this is something completely preventable,” said Dr. Young.

Slade Wilks is an Amarillo construction worker and says he and his crew were prepared to work through this heat wave.

“We knew it was coming, so we had to bear with it and work through it, and you know, we took precautions. Plenty of water, plenty of ice, everything,” said Wilks, construction worker with Childers Brothers.

Wilks even starts his day off earlier than normal in an attempt to avoid the scorching temperatures.

“You know, we’re out here trying to help people out, in whatever type of weather we have to do it,” said Wilks.

Prevention isn’t just something for humans. Heat like this can impact everything, including your animals.

“I’m serious about burns. We have absolutely seen dogs with burned feet from being on the pavement,” said Dr. Tiffany Olsen, veterinarian with Noah’s Ark Pet Hospital.

Dr. Olsen says, just like humans, heat related illness can sneak up on your pets.

“They may suddenly start drooling a lot or have a runny nose. If you see something like that, you definitely need to get them into a cooler place,” said Dr. Olsen.

As temperatures remain high, doctors and veterinarians say it is best to stay out of the heat in the middle of the day.

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