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Public Health provides heat safety tips

Kern County Public Health urges residents to protect themselves from the heat as triple digit temperatures are expected for the first time this year. Widespread triple digit heat was expected in the San Joaquin Valley and Coastal Range Friday, June 30 through at least Monday, July 3.

Heat poses a substantial health risk, especially for vulnerable populations including young children, the elderly, those with chronic diseases or disabilities and pregnant women. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to cool themselves properly. 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, fatigue and dizziness can also be indicators of heat-related illness.

"Many families will be enjoying the outdoors this holiday weekend and we urge them to do so safely," says Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health. "We are transitioning from very mild temperatures to triple digit heat very quickly and I urge everyone to practice heat safety to prevent any heat-related tragedies."

Tips to stay safe during heat risk:

• Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.

• Avoid outdoor physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck and loose-fitting clothing.

• Regularly check on any elderly relatives or friends who live alone. Many may be on medications which increase likelihood of dehydration.

• Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a rapid, strong pulse, you feel delirious or have a body temperature above 102 degrees.

• 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.

Visit http://www.kerncounty.com/government/aging-adult-services/services/cooling-centers to see if there are any Cooling Centers available in your area.