Health

Residents Urged to Take Precautions During Heat Advisory

Higher than normal temperatures are coming to the desert and lower mountain areas of San Diego County over the next two days and residents are urged to take precautions to avoid heat-stroke and other heat-related illnesses and to make sure vulnerable populations, especially children, older adults and pets, are protected.

The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued an excessive heat warning for the deserts and a heat advisory for the mountains below 6,000 feet that is in effect until Sunday evening. Temperatures are expected to be anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees above average. Temperatures will begin to cool on Sunday.

The County’s Borrego Springs branch library will be open extended hours as a Cool Zone on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m.

The County operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 100 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.

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.

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