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Cooling zone open Friday as heat wave fades

Mike Conway

Post Date:06/22/2017

Heat wave fades, Merced cooling zone open through Friday

The City's cooling zone will be open Friday, but then temperatures are expected to begin dropping as the heat wave starts to fade away.

'We are glad that temperatures are finally starting to decrease and give people a break,' said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz. 'This weather has been hard on everyone, but especially our vulnerable populations.'

The City opened its cooling zone on Sunday and will keep it open through Friday.

The cooling zone for the City of Merced will be in the Sam Pipes Room of the Merced Civic Center, (City Hall) 678 W. 18th St. from 3 to 8 p.m.

'We are glad we've been able to help out people,' Dietz said. 'We had 27 people who came in Wednesday, including a number of families.'

People can bring their pets as long as they don't disturb other people or pets.

People are reminded to stay hydrated during the heat wave, wear loose clothes and light colored fabrics. Don't leave children or pets inside vehicles, where temperatures can reach lethal levels in minutes.

There will be free bus rides to the Merced cooling zone provided by The Bus.

As always, Dietz asked City residents to check on their neighbors to make sure they are coping with the hot weather. 'Look out for each other, it's the right thing to do,' Dietz said. 'Don't forget our at-risk residents and make sure the seniors around you are OK.'

Opening of the cooling zones is subject to changes in the temperatures.

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)

' Unconsciousness

' 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

' Weakness

' Headache

' 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.

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