The mercury eclipsed 100 degrees on nine of the first 12 days of August. It averaged 103 degrees and a record high of 108 degrees was recorded Aug. 9.

Extreme heat has caused area doctors to urge residents, and especially student athletes, to take measures against heat exhaustion.

"They need to stay well-hydrated with water and something with electrolytes," said Christina Tran, the medical director of the Emergency Department at Texas Health Harris Methodist Outpatient Center Burleson. "It's all common sense type of things."

Wearing light-colored clothing that isn't made of a heavy or thick material is recommended.

"Sweating is good, so wear light clothing," she said. "The very young, the very old and people with medical problems, they need to be very careful."

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, light headedness, dehydration and changes in vision. Anyone experiencing heat exhaustion should find a cool place to rest and drink lots of fluids.

"If that's not helping, they need to call 9-1-1 or have someone take them to the hospital," Tran said.
A heat stroke, however, is a more serious issue, with symptoms of confusion and changes in mental status, Tran said. Anyone who believes they are experiencing heat stroke should seek medical attention.

"We don't want people to stay at home with these symptoms," Tran said. "They should always make sure to seek medical attention if they're concerned.

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Tran also advises people to go to a friend's house or a cool public place if their air conditioner breaks down. She also encourages residents not to leave children or pets in cars.

For student athletes, taking breaks and drinking plenty of water is recommended.

"If they're going to be outside for a big part of the day, they need frequent breaks and need to take extra measures," Tran said.

New Texas University Interscholastic League guidelines have been set for preseason football practices to ensure the safety of athletes. During the first four days of practice, two practices can be held each day, but there must be a two-hour break between the two practices.

After the first four days, two practices can be held a day but not on consecutive days. No practice on a day when two are held can last longer than three hours and the combined practices can go longer than five hours.

Centennial High School trainer Ben Bailey said the new UIL rules are good news for student athletes.

"It's great for the kids. They need it. I'm a big fan and supporter of it," he said. "I think we are going to see a big decrease in the amount of heat illness we see each fall. It's great for the athletes."

Bailey said he will be watching the weight of his athletes to ensure safety.

"We are going to do a weigh-in and weigh-out before every practice," Bailey said. "We are going to look at how much weight they lost during practice and that is going to help us determine who we are going to allow to practice in the next practice and who we are going to hold out to make sure they regain their body weight."

Burleson High School coach Gary McElroy said his players will be taking as many water breaks as they need.

"Players will have as much water as they want, anytime they want or need it," McElroy said. "We will also have scheduled breaks for water."

Coach Jeff Dixon at Alvarado High School said the school is taking measures to ensure student athletes aren't put in danger in extreme heat.

"We are very concerned about it. We are taking every precaution we can to make sure they are hydrated," he said.

His students will also be weighing in before and after practice like Bailey's, and water will be available to the players at all times during practice.

School staff will also watch temperatures and take students inside, if necessary.

"Our head trainer is always monitoring the heat index," Dixon said. "If the heat index gets to a certain level then we take them inside."

Students who have band practice outside should try to avoid wearing their uniforms and stick to lighter clothes.

Other residents should do what they can to stay inside between 10 a.m.-6 p.m., when the weather is most extreme, Tran said.

Sports writer Ricky Moore contributed to this report.