Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Prepare NOW for a safe and healthy summer

Summer is a busy time of year as kids are out of school and many events and activities are happening around Kern County. There are steps we all can take to prevent medical emergencies in our daily lives, in and around our homes.

This June, Public Health will release weekly health and safety tips to empower families to have a happy and safe summer!

As we move into triple digit temperatures this weekend, Public Health urges residents to protect themselves. 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 attending graduation ceremonies and celebrating outdoors this weekend and we urge them to do so as safely as possible," said Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health. "It is imperative to practice heat safety to prevent any heat-related tragedies as we enter into our hot summer months."

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 result in death.

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

Kern County Public Health has embarked on a year-long health initiative we call "A Healthier Kern – One Heart at a Time." This initiative highlights 10 health-related challenges and provides awareness and education to empower our residents to be healthier while showcasing Public Health programs and services. Learn more by visiting our website: http://www.kernpublichealth.com/healthierkern/.