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Tips During This Week’s Heat Wave

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San Andreas, CA — The Calaveras County Public Health Officer, Dr. Rene Ramirez, is urging everyone to be vigilant during the first peak summer heat wave of the season.

He notes that temperatures could reach triple digits in many parts of the area today through Thursday.

Dr. Ramirez says, “Be sure to pay attention to warning signs of heat-related illnesses such as heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting, paleness, tiredness, or dizziness.”

He adds that common preventable heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, cramps, sunburn, and rash. Extreme cases can lead to death. It is advised to stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible to prevent heat-related illnesses. If your home does not have air conditioning, he says to visit public places like coffee shops, grocery stores, or libraries, which are already open and can provide temporary relief from the heat.

It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, wear light clothing, use sunscreen, pace yourself, and consider using a buddy system (check in on friends, family and neighbors).

Other tips from Calaveras Public Health is below:

What to Do
If you or someone you know is suffering from heat-related illness, below are steps for what to do:
Heat Stroke:

  • Call 9-1-1 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on body or take a cool bath
  • Sip water
  • Get medical help right away if: someone throwing up; symptoms get worse; or symptoms last longer than 1 hour

Heat Cramps:

  • Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
  • Drink water or a sports drink
  • Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity
  • Get medical help right away if: cramps last longer than 1 hour; someone is on a low-sodium diet; or someone has heart problems

If you have a pet or a companion animal:

  • Pets and companion animals feel the heat just as much as humans do and they can also suffer from heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of overheating for animals, including excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness or lethargy, stupor or even collapse, excessive thirst, and vomiting. Help protect the health of pets and other companion animals during an extreme heat event by taking these steps:
  • Never leave pets in a parked vehicle. Even cracked windows won’t protect your pet from suffering from heat stroke, or worse, during hot summer days.
  • Provide your pet with fresh, cool water every day in a tip-proof bowl.
  • Don’t force animals to exercise when it is hot and humid. Exercise pets early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Bring pets inside during periods of extreme heat
  • Ensure pets have plenty of shade and shelter if kept outside. Remember, the shade pets have in the morning will either change or diminish as the sun moves throughout the day and may not protect them.
  • Asphalt and concrete can get very hot and cause severe burns on the pads of your pet’s feet.
  • Older and overweight pets are more likely to overheat during hot weather.
  • Animals with flat faces are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with older and overweight pets, should be kept in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
  • Keep your pet well-groomed but resist the temptation to shave off all of their hair to keep them cool. A pet’s coat will protect it from getting sunburned and acts as a cooling insulation for most animals.
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