With the temperatures expected to remain hot over Labor Day weekend, the Placer County Department of Health and Human Services urges residents to take simple precautions to avoid health problems associated with the heat.
People who are elderly, chronically ill and very young need special attention, and should particularly avoid actions that could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke during prolonged hot weather.
According to Dr. Richard Burton, M.D., M.P.H. Placer County Health Officer and Director of Health and Human Services, taking a few simple precautions avoids health problems associated with heat.
1) Change your routine.
- Avoid strenuous activity during the day. Schedule strenuous activity during the early morning when it is coolest.
- Don't use the oven. Eat cool foods such as salads.
2) Stay cool and hydrated.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. If you need to work outside, take more breaks and use the shade to cool off when not working. Wear a hat and use sunscreen.
- Take cool baths and showers or sponge off with cool water. If you don't have air conditioning, go to someplace that does, like a library, senior center, movie theater or a local store.
- Drink plenty of cool, NON-ALCOHOLIC beverages. Alcohol makes dehydration worse!
3) Monitor yourself, family and neighbors.
4) Know the signs of more serious heat illness. Heat exhaustion starts with weakness, nausea, dizziness and profuse sweating. Heat stroke is characterized by a high body temperature, lack of sweating and physical collapse.
- Some medicines make you more sensitive to heat stress. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Check in on older friends and relatives living alone. The most common victims of heat stroke are elderly people living alone. Invite them to visit an air conditioned library or movie with you.
Heat related illnesses are easily prevented. Enjoy a change in routine, let the weather dictate how hard you work and exercise, and watch out for family, friends and neighbors.
Placer County Health and Human Services also has a hot weather message phone line, 530-886-4636, which includes hot weather tips. Additional information is also available by clicking this link.