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San Bernardino County Health Officer issues heat advisory
With potentially extreme heat expected in San Bernardino County (SBC) for the remainder of the week, San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory. Temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees for the rest of the week and vulnerable individuals need to observe precautions.
“While this intense heat is not especially unusual, the recent cool weather could cause some people to be caught off guard, especially those most susceptible to heat illness,” said Ohikhuare. “Those most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.”
The two most important precautions to take to prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other serious health issues are staying cool and staying well hydrated. Those without air conditioning should seek facilities or residences with this convenience during the hotter portions of the day at cooling centers, libraries, indoor malls or the homes of friends, family or neighbors.
SBC’s Ohikhuare’s heat advisory included the following information:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings (especially in the hotter portions of the day)
- Find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or online at http://211sb.org/cooling-centers
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device
- Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
- Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature
- Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day
- Drink water more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
- Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar
- Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water
Additional information is also available from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health at 1-800-782-4264 or visit the National Weather Service Forecast website at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/ or the California Department of Public Health website at: http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/BeInformed/NaturalDisasters/ExtremeHeat/Pages/ExtremeHeat.aspx.
In addition to the advice from SBC, the California Department of Public Health offers the following suggestions for protecting pets during the extreme heat.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even cracked windows won’t protect your pet from overheating or suffering from heat stroke during hot summer days.
- Exercise your dog in the early morning or evening hours, instead of the middle of the day when it’s the hottest.
- If your dog or cat are outside during the day, remember that asphalt and concrete can get very hot and can burn the pads of your pet’s feet. Your pet must always have shelter available to protect it from extreme temperatures. Pets who are older or overweight are more likely to overheat during hot weather.
- Since many people treat their lawns with pesticides at this time of year, keep your pet away from unfamiliar yards and grassy areas.
- Provide your pet with fresh, cool water every day in a tip-proof bowl.
- Keep your pet well-groomed, but resist the temptation to shave off all of his hair in an effort to keep him cool. A pet’s coat will protect him from getting sunburned. The coat also acts as cooling insulation for most animals.
- Keep your pet away from spots or puddles of auto coolant in the garage, driveway, or parking lots as the poisonous liquid is tempting to animals, but could lead to a fatal result.
- Don’t let your dog ride in the back of an open vehicle, like a pick-up truck. If your pet must travel in the back of an open vehicle, make sure he’s safely tethered to the center of the bed and is able to stand or sit on a slip-proof and cool surface.