Health

Eastern San Diego County Under an Excessive Heat Warning

High temperatures are expected to reach the 115 to 120 degree range in the San Diego County desert areas over the next few days and County health officials are reminding the public to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. The County is also extending the Cool Zone hours at the Borrego Springs branch of the San Diego County Library.

The National Weather Service in San Diego issued an excessive heat warning today at 1 p.m. that runs through Monday at 9 p.m. for the desert areas of eastern San Diego County. Mountain and foothill areas in the county are expected to be hot as well with highs in the 95 to 107 degree range.

The Borrego Springs library will be open extended hours tonight until 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. for residents seeking relief from the heat. The library is located at 587 Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 125.

The County operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 115 air-conditioned buildings as cooling centers. Locations and hours of operation can be found on a new interactive map on CoolZones.org, by calling 2-1-1 San Diego (dial 2-1-1). You can also call 1-800-510-2020, ext. 6 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The sites are identified by a light blue Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.

Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler. Do not rely on electric fans for cooling if temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don’t wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

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An extremely high body temperature (103 or higher), dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache are signs of heat-stroke or exhaustion. If someone shows these signs, call 9-1-1 and begin cooling the individual by:

  • Moving them to a shaded area
  • Spraying with cool water and fanning them
  • Placing them in a cool shower if they are alert
  • Monitoring the body temperature, and continue cooling efforts
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink

Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress. People with elderly neighbors should check on the well-being of the older persons.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact