Heat wave hits, Cooling Center opens
MERCED – The City of Merced will be opening a Cooling Center Tuesday through Thursday to provide a refuge from the extreme heat. Temperatures are expected to reach 107-degrees Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The Cooling Center will be located in the Sam Pipes Room on the first floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. in Merced. The Center will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. City Parks and Community Service staff will operate the cooling center.
Below are some tips from the state Office of Emergency Services.
Tips to Prevent Heat Related Illness
· Never leave infants, children or the frail elderly 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.
· Drink fruit juice or a sports beverage to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating. (If a client/resident is on a low-sodium diet, check with his/her physician first.)
· During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun.
· Use fans as needed.
· Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when appropriate.
· Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths.
· Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to the body. Eat frozen treats.
Read more: Division of Occupational Safety & Health (bilingual resources), Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tips for Preventing Heat-related Illness
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
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)
· Dizziness, nausea and confusion
· Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
· Rapid, strong pulse
· Throbbing headache
Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:
· Heavy sweating
· Muscle cramps
· Nausea or vomiting
· Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
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 911 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 emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
· Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
· Again, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
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.