The Kern County Department of Public Health wants to remind everyone how to stay safe during the summer heat.
Tips to stay safe during this period of excessive heat:
• Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcohol.
• Avoid outdoor physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time.
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck and loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun.
• Regularly check on any elderly relatives or friends who live alone. Many may be on medications which increase likelihood of dehydration.
• To prevent overheating, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, you feel delirious or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.
• Never leave infants, children, elderly or pets in a parked car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.
• Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts.
• Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen may reduce the risk of skin cancer.
• The County of Kern will open Cooling Centers when temperatures are forecasted by the NWS to exceed certain highs. For more information visit: http://www.co.kern.ca.us/pio/coolingcenters.aspx
Extreme heat poses a substantial health risk, especially for vulnerable populations including young children, the elderly, those with chronic diseases or disabilities, and pregnant women. Heat-related illness includes cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death. Warning signs of heat-related illnesses may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache and nausea. Vomiting, paleness, tiredness and dizziness can also be indicators of heat-related illness.