As higher temperatures in the 90s and 100s return to the Central Valley, local public health officials are advising all residents to take steps to protect themselves and others from the effects of hot weather.
People should check on their neighbors, particularly the elderly and anyone who lives alone. Also, seek immediate medical help if you see or develop signs of heat-related illness, including dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, weakness, confusion, or problems breathing. Those at more risk include the elderly, infants and young children, and people with chronic diseases such as heart or respiratory ailments. Other higher risk conditions include obesity, fever, dehydration, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
The safest place during extreme heat is indoors with air-conditioning. If you do not have air conditioning, go to a friend’s or family member’s house with air conditioning; visit a public place such as a library, shopping mall, or community center; or seek out a cooling center. You can also lower body temperature by taking a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath. Drink plenty of fluids to help your body sweat and cool off. Don’t drink any alcohol, caffeine or sugary drinks. Rest when possible, and wear lightweight clothing. Never leave infants, children, the elderly, or pets in a parked car.
More information about protecting yourself and others from the dangers of high heat is available through the CDC Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety, http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp].