As the temperature is expected to rise to 100 degrees this weekend, Stanislaus County health officials are advising residents to be prepared for the hot weather and take precautions to prevent any heat illnesses.
"People should recognize the symptoms of any heat-related illness and take precautions to stay safe and healthy. Senior citizens and small children are particularly vulnerable," stated Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, County Public Health Officer. "Our hope is to get the word out there now that a good working home air conditioner for your loved ones could save their lives this summer. When temperatures reach 100 degrees or more, an electric fan may not be sufficient to cool a person adequately. People without air conditioning should consider finding a location for ‘heat respite' some portion of the day."
Temperatures in Stanislaus County are expected to stay above 100 degrees - some days as high as 110 - for consecutive days through June 24.
Heat waves can be especially dangerous for seniors, infants and other vulnerable people. These individuals have a much harder time regulating their body temperatures and adjusting to extreme changes in heat.
People should follow these steps to stay safe and protect themselves during hot weather:
• Stay indoors and out of the sun during the day;
• Use air conditioner and keep it well maintained;
• If indoor temperature remains above 90 degrees, seek shelter in an air-conditioned building;
• Drink more water than usual and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink;
• Avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks;
• Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing;
• Take frequent cool showers or baths;
• Check in on neighbors, relatives and friends, particularly the elderly who may be isolated;
• Bring pets indoors where the air conditioning is on.
During times of extreme heat, if you notice the following symptoms, seek medical help quickly:
• Red, hot, dry skin;
• High body temperature of 105 degrees;
• Dizziness, nausea, confusion;
• Profuse sweating and muscle cramping;
• Strange behavior or unconsciousness;
• Rapid pulse or throbbing headache.
For heat-related information, Stanislaus County has numerous resources available for the public at www.StanEmergency.com.