Health

Residents Urged to Take Necessary Heat Precautions

Higher than normal temperatures are continuing in San Diego County over the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions to avoid heat-stroke and other heat-related illnesses and to make sure children, older adults and pets are protected.

Elderly people, 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. Pet owners should exercise their pets in early morning hours or late at night to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat.

The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a heat advisory that runs through Thursday at 6 p.m. for the valleys and costal mesas of San Diego County. Temperatures will be anywhere 5 to 15 degrees above average with high temperatures forecast at 95 to 103 in parts of the county. Temperatures will remain hot, but a minor cooling trend will start on Thursday continuing into next week.

A flash flood watch is also in effect for the mountain, desert and valley areas of the county until Thursday at 10 p.m.

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 or by calling 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

RELATED: Hot Weather Hazards for Dogs

RELATED: Hikers Warned to Take Precautions

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 continuing cooling efforts
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink
Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact