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City extends cooling zone through Thursday

Mike Conway

Post Date:06/19/2017

Merced cooling zone is open through Thursday

The intense heat continues to grip the Valley, so the City of Merced has extended its cooling zone today through Thursday to offer residents an escape from the hot temperatures.

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. There will be water, snacks and other supplies available in the room.

'Be careful out in the heat. Remember to stay hydrated and try to stay cool,' said Merced Mayor Mike Murphy. 'Above all don't leave children or pets inside a car. Vehicles get hot quickly and it's too dangerous.'

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area through Thursday as the heat wave lingers. Today's forecast high is 108, and then the temperature is predicted to stay are 107 through Thursday.

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

'Take advantage of our cooling zone, especially if you don't have air conditioning or if you are relying on a swamp cooler,' said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz.

She also asked City residents to check on their neighbors to make sure they are coping with the hot weather.

'The heat is hard on a lot of people, and we have to look out for each other,' Dietz said. 'Check in on your neighbors and friends, make sure the seniors around you are OK, and don't forget our at-risk residents.'

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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