Beware, Heat-Related Deaths Are at an All Time High in Texas
It appears 2023 will go down in the record books for some of the hottest days in history throughout the Lone Star State. Texas has seen a 51% increase in heat-related deaths since 1999. While the increase seems shocking, 2010, 2021 and 2022 actually experienced the most dramatic increases.
I'm not entirely surprised to see the numbers skyrocket like they have, but I think it's due to the fact that homelessness and border crossings are at an all-time high in Texas. Also at an all-time high are the temperatures, setting new records since the 1940s.
When you look into the top 10 counties that are experiencing higher than normal heat-related deaths, over half of those are along the southern border of Texas. The counties listed below are the top 10 Texas counties with the most heat-related deaths from 1999 to 2022.
Top 10 counties with heat-related deaths from 1999 to 2022
- Webb County - 325 deaths
- Brooks County - 202 deaths
- Harris County - 154 deaths
- Dallas County - 125 deaths
- Dimmitt County - 120 deaths
- El Paso County - 95 deaths
- Tarrant County - 92 deaths
- Hidalgo County - 81 deaths
- Bexar County - 64 deaths
- Maverick County - 60 deaths
Source: TexasTribune Department of State Health Services
The best way to prevent heat-related deaths is to stay hydrated, avoid excessive heat exposure, wear lighter clothing, use all cooling methods possible (fans, air conditioning, etc), and take breaks in shaded or cooler areas. If you feel someone is experiencing a heat-related illness or heatstroke, take action immediately by moving them to a cooler place, hydrating them, and seeking professional medical help right away.
As temperatures soar, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) advises us all to be aware of the elderly population, young children, people with chronic diseases, and those who have no access to air conditioning.
Signs of a heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, weak rapid pulse, and headaches. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention. Stay cool and check out the video above for some great tips.
To avoid heat-related issues, follow these TDSHS safety tips. Remember that the hottest part of the day in West Texas is between noon and 2 PM; however, the temperature peaks between 4 to 6 PM.