In Texas, temperatures fluctuate from the mid-80s to just above the century mark. In June of last year, some summer days saw temperatures as high as 110° and higher. So as we prepare for summer outdoor activities the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says we should follow some simple safety tips.

Texas state officials want to ensure that all Lone Star residents know how to stay cool and be safe this summer. To that end, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has released the top 7 safety tips for summer.

Whether you're outdoors or indoors, the key is to stay cool and hydrated, including pets. The rising temperatures in June indicate that we are already in the dog days of summer. If this is any indicator of what is to come, Texas has already had five days in triple digits before the first day of summer.

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Last year, in Texas alone, 48 state parks reported 156 heat-related illnesses in humans and pets. This year, many state park rangers and emergency medical technicians are predicting that temperatures will eclipse last year's numbers.

So far this year, state park employees have already fielded 51 heat-related incidents since January 1st, compared to a whopping 32 reported by this time last year. The first day of summer is June 20th, and already the heat is on!

Here's what Texas state professionals recommend for "Staying Safe This Summer":

  1. Hydrate: Drink 16 ounces of water every hour. Bring enough for pets, too.
  2. Block the Rays: Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every couple of hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
  3. Dress Smart: Wear light, breathable clothes, a hat, and sunscreen. For pets, avoid hot surfaces or use booties. Test with your hand: if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for them.
  4. Stay Salty: Eat salty snacks like jerky and trail mix to maintain energy and replace lost salt.
  5. Buddy System: Hike with a friend to monitor each other for heat-related symptoms.
  6. Plan Ahead: Study maps and avoid relying on your phone. Hike early or late to avoid peak heat, and let someone know your plans.
  7. Pup Safety: Bring plenty of water and snacks for pets to keep them cool and hydrated. Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department press release

Visitors should always check trailhead notices for site-specific conditions before setting out. Texas State Park websites and staff offer valuable information on trail and weather conditions. Regularly updated park alerts online are also a useful resource for visitors before arriving.

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