With the region in the grip of a stifling heat wave, the County reminds the public to take precautions, as well as keep an eye on elderly and disabled relatives and neighbors to make sure they’re keeping cool.
“Seniors with limited mobility, as well as the disabled and ill, are especially vulnerable to high temperatures,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “If they can’t cool off at home, take them to a Cool Zone, or mall or other air-conditioned location.”
The Health and Human Services Agency Aging and Independence Services’ Cool Zone program offers more than 100 locations for anyone to beat the heat. Call toll free 1-800-510-2020 or 2-1-1 for information. View Cool Zone sites (PDF) and tips for staying cool.
The public is also reminded to never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles for any period of time, even with the windows down, as heat can rise to dangerous levels inside vehicles.
To beat the effects of high heat:
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
- Stay out of the sun
- Wear lightweight clothing
- Be cautious about engaging in strenuous physical activity
- Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
- Call your physician if you feel you may be experiencing heat-related illness.
Heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, can occur in anyone, but especially in people who have difficulty regulating their body temperature, including: Children up to age 4, those 65 or older, people who are overweight, and people ill or on certain medications. Heat exhaustion is marked by weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache and muscle aches. To treat heat exhaustion, cool the victim off quickly, and provide water or diluted sports drinks like Gatorade.
Signs of heat stroke include: Lack of sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, confusion, and even unconsciousness. If someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1, loosen or remove the victim’s clothing, and spray or pour water on their skin.
Take similar steps if your pet suffers from heat stress, and take the animal to the veterinarian immediately. Also, never leave pets or children unattended inside a vehicle at any time. Temperatures can quickly reach deadly levels even with windows slightly open and in mild weather.
More information on Pets and Heat.
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