Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Make sure Texas sun doesn't ruin summer

By the Advocate Editorial Board
June 17, 2013 at 1:17 a.m.

Summer may not officially begin until Friday, but that hasn't stopped temperatures from hitting the 90s the past few weeks.

The sweltering heat isn't unexpected. We experience this every year as spring draws to a close and the oppressive, glaring 100-degree temperatures move in. For most of us, this is routine, but for those who are new to the area, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help residents safely face the coming heat wave:

Children under 4 years old, adults over 65, overweight individuals and those taking certain medications are most at risk for heat stress or heat-related death. • Stay in the air conditioning during the hottest part of the day. Those who do not have air conditioning at home can go to a public place, such as the mall or other shopping centers. The Salvation Army has opened its yearly cooling station, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people who do not have anywhere to go. Just a few hours of air conditioning a day can help prevent heat-related illnesses.

• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

• Drink water often, even if you don't feel thirsty.

• Avoid working too hard while outside or in buildings that do not have air conditioning, especially if the work is unnecessary.

• When you are out in the sun, wear a hat with a wide brim and avoid unnecessary exposure.

Residents have other options to help them beat the heat. The Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool is open from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday until Aug. 11. Entrance is $1.50 per person. We are glad families will have an affordable place to go and cool off during the heat of the day, but we are disappointed that this year's season will be much shorter than in previous years. We understand part of the city's problem is a shortage of lifeguards, who require special training. We encourage the city to work to find a way to keep the pool open longer than the current schedule. Aug. 11 is still well within the height of summer, and the pool will be a welcome break from the oppressive heat. We also encourage Victoria teenagers who are looking for a summer job to consider becoming a lifeguard. For decades, working as a lifeguard was considered the ideal summer job. Why not take this chance to enjoy sitting poolside and learn responsibility at the same time?

Whatever residents choose to do this summer, we hope they will keep the dangers of prolonged exposure to the heat in mind. Vacation and outdoor activities are enjoyable as long as they don't include a trip to the hospital.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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