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High temperatures in Orange County bring risk of heat-related illneses

Temperatures in most of Orange County are expected to reach the low to mid 90s beginning Wednesday 8/31 and reach the high 90s and low 100 degrees through Monday 9/5. High temperatures increase the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke for those who are more sensitive to heat.

Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures may cause serious conditions like heat cramps or heatstroke and can even be fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness.

Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid pulse, and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.

Recommended precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses include:

  • Drink plenty of water; don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Stay out of the sun if possible, and when in the sun wear a wide brim hat and use sunscreen.
  • Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in non-air-conditioned buildings. If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in shaded area.
  • Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles.
  • Check on those, like neighbors, who are at high risk to make sure they are staying cool – including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.
  • Stay cool indoors – if your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat.

This article was released by the OC Health Care Agency.