Summer began with the year's first heat wave this week - and it's only going to get hotter as the month goes on.
Temperatures didn't quite make the century mark as June got underway last weekend, but the 98 degree heat felt on Saturday did send area residents to find relief at water parks, lakes and backyard pools. Unfortunately, Turlock public pools won't open for the season until June 15 (Columbia Park) and June 17 (Turlock and Pitman high schools).
According to the National Weather Service, triple digit heat will hit on Friday throughout the Central Valley with highs around 100 to 108. Saturday will be the hottest day of the week with highs around 106 to 114.
Extremely high or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States, according to the California Department of Public Health. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.
Heat-related illnesses occur when the body heats too quickly to cool itself safely, or looses too much fluid or salt through dehydration or sweating. The severity of heat disorders tends to increase with age. Conditions that cause heat cramps in a 17-year-old may result in heat exhaustion in someone 40 years old and heat stroke in a person over 60 years old, according to health studies.
Heat disorders can include sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
To prevent health effects from heat-related illness, the CDPH recommends:
• Staying cool: Stay in air-conditioned buildings. Do not rely on a fan as the primary cooling device. Limiting outdoor activity, especially midday. Wearing loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Taking cool showers to lower body temperature. Checking on at-risk friends, family or neighbors.
• Staying hydrated: Drink more than usual and don't wait until thirsty to drink. Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside. Avoiding alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
• Staying informed: Check with local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips. Visiting CDPH for information and tips on preventing heat sickness at http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/