FWISD URGES EVERYONE TO “KNOW THE PLAN” ABOUT HEAT SAFETY
Fort Worth, Texas – The National Weather Service’s Heat Advisory is expected to continue into this week. Fort Worth ISD encourages everyone to know the dangers associated with heat exposure. Additionally, all campuses are being asked to conserve as much energy as possible.
Fort Worth ISD trainers, coaches and band directors know that ambient temperatures above 90 degrees with relative humidity greater than 60% pose the highest risk for heat injuries. The District regards temperatures of 90 degrees or greater as highest risk regardless of relative humidity.
Heat injuries may fall within three categories:
- Heat stress - mild disturbances in electrolyte balance thought to be caused from excessive perspiration. Headache, muscle cramps and nausea are the typical symptoms. It is completely reversible with hydration, electrolyte replacement and rest in a cool environment.
- Heat exhaustion - prolonged periods of excessive heat with inadequate or partial replacement of fluids and electrolytes. This can cause more serious injury to the tissues and autonomic regulatory systems. Again, adequate hydration and electrolyte replacement prevent this injury.
- Heat stroke - most serious form of heat injury with a high fatality rate. This results from overwhelming the body’s ability to cool itself leading to an elevated core temperature of greater than 105 degrees F. The surface of skin can often feel cool and dry to the touch. Initial symptoms in persons suffering heat stroke may be headache and nausea rapidly followed by confusion and coma.
The following measures need to be adhered to at all times:
- Have the children drink water before, during and after activities.
- Rooms should be cool. Fans blowing warm air can actually lead to increased numbers of heat injuries.
- Children who are medically fragile, taking antibiotics, antihistamines or medication for attention deficit disorder are more susceptible to heat injury.
This is what FWISD knows and practices, but it’s good information for parents to Know The Plan, as well, and use these same guidelines as we all try to cope with the excessive heat that is forecast for the week ahead.
Campus and facility leaders are asked to identify those areas of their schools and buildings not being utilized and place those portions in “unoccupied mode.” Assistance with this task can be obtained from the District’s HVAC Help Desk at 817-871-2600.
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