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Sweltering days ahead for most of California
Heat Related Illness

The calendar may show that we are only a few weeks from fall, but the weather certainly is stuck in summer. With temperatures expecting to linger above 100 degrees for the Labor Day weekend, health officials are cautioning residents to be mindful of heat-related illnesses.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory on Friday for 98 percent of California and declared an excessive heat warning for the northern region of Central California. A strong high pressure will keep the area roasting for the next couple of days and will provide little relief in the evening.

“Daytime highs will range from 107 to 114 across much of the Central Valley with overnight lows in the upper 60s to lower 80s in the Central Valley and foothill thermal belts,” according to the National Weather Service. 

In Turlock, the temperatures are expected to hit 110 degrees on Saturday, with a low of 76 degrees at night, breaking the record high for Sept. 2 in Turlock, which was 102 degrees (set in 1998). Sunday is forecast to reach another record high at 108, with a low of 74 and Monday it’s expected to be 99 degrees, with a low of 73 at night.

Health officials are urging people to take precautions during the peak temperatures to avoid the risk of heat-related illnesses. Prolonged exposure to intense temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses can such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. In heat-related illnesses the body loses the ability to properly cool, causing a rapid rise in body temperature. People at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years old; people 65 years of age and older; people who are overweight or have existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease; people who are socially isolated; and the poor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other behaviors also put people at greater risk, such as drinking alcohol and taking medications that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

In 2016, 94 people in the United States died as a result of extreme heat, according to the National Weather Service.

Pet owners are also advised to take some precautions from keeping their furry friends from falling victim to heat-related illnesses. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, advises people to know the symptoms of an overheated pet, which can include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

The City of Turlock has two predetermined cooling centers in town for those in need of an escape from the heat. To be a cooling center, a facility must have air conditioning, public restrooms and access to potable water. For Turlock, the two predetermined cooling centers are the Turlock Public Library at 550 Minaret, and the Homeless Assistance Ministry at 432 S. Broadway.

In addition to cooling centers, Turlock has aquatic playgrounds at Broadway and Columbia parks.

If the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services decides to issue an official heat emergency, free transportation will be made available on a Turlock Transit bus that can take residents to or from a designated cooling center. Additional cooling centers would also be opened during a heat emergency, including the Stanislaus county Fairgrounds and Turlock Unified School District sites.

City of Turlock officials offered these tips to help residents during the heat wave:

Limit strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day (If possible). Wear protective clothing & sun screen. Keep hydrated, drink lots of water. (Avoid coffee, other caffeinated drinks and alcohol) When available, take a break in the shade or indoors where there is air conditioning. Check frequently on people who may not be able to care for themselves. Do not leave children or pets in hot vehicles. Know your own limits.