Public health offers beat-the-heat tips

Sasha Talavera catches her son Derek, 5, as he jumps in the pool during recreational swim Tuesday at San Benito High School. Temperatures are expected to hit the mid-90s this weekend. The California Health Department offers some tips for staying healthy i

National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the high 90s through Tuesday for Hollister. The San Benito County Public Health department and the Office of Emergency Services issued a heat advisory Friday with tips on how to keep from overheating during the hot spell. The advisory offers tips on avoiding sunburn and heat exhaustion.
Below is information from the advisory:
• Get plenty to drink: Sweating removes needed salt and minerals from the body. When it is hot, drink more water, juice and other fluids.
• Avoid drinks with caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) and alcohol. Be sure to eat regularly.
• Stay cool indoors: The best way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area. If you don’t have an air conditioner, go to a shopping mall or public building for a few hours. A cool shower or bath is also a good way to cool off.
• Wear light clothing and sunscreen: Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will keep the head cool. If you will be in direct sun, use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and follow package directions. Reapply every two hours while in the sun.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully: Try to be less active during the hottest part of the day in the late afternoon. If you must be out in the heat, plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. While outdoors, rest often in a shady area. Never leave kids or pets in a parked car.
• Pace yourself: If you are not used to working or exercising in hot weather, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. Take frequent, regularly scheduled breaks. If activity in the heat makes your heart pound or leaves you gasping for breath, stop activity; get into a cool or shady area, and rest. Especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or feel faint.
• Use a buddy system: During a heat wave, check on your friends and family and have someone do the same for you. If you know someone who is elderly or has a health condition, check on them twice a day during a heat wave. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. High temperatures can cause serious health problems. Know the symptoms of heat-related illness and be ready to help. Do not leave children and animals in vehicles.
For more information, please visit the California Department of Public Health’s website at www.cdph.ca.gov or call the San Benito County Public Health Division at 637-5367.

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