Record high temperatures are expected in the region over the weekend and into next week, prompting officials to urge residents to take precautions against heat-related illnesses.
“It’s going to be a hot week, and we would like everyone to protect themselves from the dangers of excessive heat,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “It is important that everyone stay cool, stay hydrated, stay inside and take other precautions to prevent heat-related illness.”
The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for the Turlock area from Saturday through Sunday, when temperatures are expected to reach 106 degrees, and a Heat Warning from Sunday through Tuesday, when highs could reach 108 degrees.
A Heat Advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. An Excessive Heat Warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur and the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely.
Extreme heat poses a substantial health risk, especially for vulnerable populations including young children, the elderly, those with chronic diseases or disabilities, pregnant women and people who are socially isolated.
“Simple actions can avoid tragic situations when we know weather changes like these are in the forecast,” said Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Err on the side of caution if you’re going to be outside these coming days.”
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.
To prevent overheating, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. The department of health urges residents to seek medical attention if experiencing a rapid, strong pulse, a feeling of delirious or for those with a body temperature above 102 degrees.
In areas where air quality is poor, people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory diseases should reduce or eliminate their outdoor activities, according to state officials.
CDPH offers the following tips to stay safe during this period of excessive heat:
· - 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.
· - Drink plenty of water or juice, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcohol.
· - If you don’t have air conditioning, visit a cooling center or a public place with air conditioning (such as a shopping mall or library) to cool off for a few hours each day.
· - 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, wear 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.
· - 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 number one cancer affecting Californians.