Sonora, CA — As families come together to celebrate the Father’s Day weekend, health officials want to make sure the event is fun and no one gets burnt.
Unfortunately every summer the sizzling heat can bring tragedy from the hot temperature impact, health officials offer several tips. Vehicles pose a dangerous situation as temperatures can heat up quickly, which can spell disaster for a child or pet left unattended or accidentally forgotten or if a child gets into an unlocked car without any adult knowing it happened. Tuolumne County Health Department spokesperson Michelle Jachetta recommends, “Even if it’s only like 83 degrees outside, it only takes about fifteen minutes for it to get over 90. So, even if you’re just going to run in and grab the mail and you don’t want to hassle with getting the baby out of the car seat, just don’t take that risk and it’s against the law.”
Kids are at higher risk for heat-related illness because their bodies make more heat relative to their size and their abilities to cool through sweating are not as developed as adults, notes health officials, who provide these tips:
- Reminders that a child is in the vehicle include placing a purse, wallet or briefcase beside your child so it must grabbed before heading into work/store or put a diaper bag on the seat next to the driver.
- Prevent kids from wandering into the car. Don’t let your children play in your car, make sure the car’s doors and trunk are locked when you’re not using it, and keep the keys out of the child’s reach. That may help prevent children from getting accidentally locked in the car.
- If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible.
The “Right to Rescue Act,” law went into effect this year and allows the public the right to break a window to save a person or pet in a hot vehicle.
We all know the pain of grabbing a hot steering wheel or sitting on a hot seat. AAA indicates that temperatures inside a car with closed windows and direct sunlight can rise to as high as 190 degrees, which can cause damage to cars and make breakdowns more likely. So if your planning on a road trip for Father’s Day AAA recommends:
- Use a reflective sun shade which can reduce the temperature inside the car by an average of 43 degrees. The shade can also prevent heat damage to the car´s interior, such as fading, cracking and discoloration.
- Check car´s tires, belts and hoses, antifreeze-coolant, and motor oil before heading out.
- An emergency kit and plenty of water for all passengers should be carried in the vehicle in case of a breakdown.
Health officials say the most important rule to beat the heat is to keep well hydrated. Jachetta advises you drink, “Straight water. Gatorade is okay to replace the electrolytes, but they also have a lot of sugar in them, but not soda and super sugary juices do not count. You want to make sure you have primarily water.”
The Tuolumne County Health Department provides these hot weather tips:
- During the hottest part of the day try to stay indoors
- Wear appropriate clothing such as light-weight, light-colored clothing, especially for children
- Use sunscreen and a hat if outdoors.
- Pace yourself if you are doing outdoor activities and drink 16 to 32 ounces of liquids every hour
- Watch for Heat stroke, which occurs when a person exposed to extreme heat loses the ability to maintain a normal body temperature, and can lead to confusion, unconsciousness, or even death.