Summer Heat Safety

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Prepare for the Weather and Beat the Heat

Summer Heat SafetyThe seasons are changing and the temperatures are going up. It's that time of year to once again start considering the effects of warmer temperatures and take appropriate precautions to protect your health and safety.

Each year approximately 20 people die from heat-related emergencies. In 2006 a severe heatwave resulted in 655 deaths and over 16,000 excess emergency room visits throughout the state.

Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illness

Never leave infants, children, the frail elderly, or pets unattended in a parked car.
Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Use a hat and sunscreen as needed.
Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths.
During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun.

You may also visit one of West Sacramento's cooling centers listed below. Please use the link for hours of operation.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, which occurs when the body can’t control its temperature, may result in disability or death if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses a large amount of water and salt contained in sweat. Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
  • Unconsciousness
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness, nausea and confusion
  • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body's response to an excessive loss of water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood preset and people working or exercising in a hot environment. The warning signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartbeat

What to Do

If you see any of these signs for heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency and should do the following:

  • Have someone call 9-1-1 while you begin cooling the victim.
  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim rapidly with a cool bath or shower, or by sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit, orally.

If a victim’s muscles twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke, keep the victim from injuring him/herself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his/her side.

Don't Forget Your Pets!

Animals, particularly those that spend time outdoors, are vulnerable to the heat as well. Check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website for important tips on keeping your pets protected from heat and other emergencies.

Helpful Heat Resources

CalISO Power Status

Find answers to questions about the power grid and the role the California ISO performs as the impartial link between power plants and the utilities that provide electricity to 30 million Californians.

Air Quality Conditions and Forecast

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