The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for Santa Barbara County and surrounding areas beginning Friday, July 6th and lasting through Saturday, July 7th. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is urging community members to stay safe and take the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“High temperatures can be dangerous for everyone, but particularly for our most vulnerable residents,” said Public Health Department Director, Van Do-Reynoso. “Elderly communitymembers and young children can be most impacted by temperature changes like the ones we are likely to see.”
Residents are strongly encouraged to take the following precautions whenever temperatures are on the rise:
- Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or be able to react accordingly–especially the elderly, young children, and pets.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing works best.
- Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar orcaffeine. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you have fluid restrictions from yourdoctor, ask to see how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Limit outdoor activity. Try to schedule outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, like morning and evening hours. Be sure to wear sunscreen and rest often.
- Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room. If your home doesn’thave air conditioning, go to a public space that is air conditioned – even a few hours in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler. You can also take a cool shower or bath.
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
- Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin. With heat stroke, the person often stops sweating and the skin will be unusually dry. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!
- Be aware of the dangers of leaving children (and pets) unattended in vehicles. It only takes a matter of minutes on a relatively mild day for a vehicle to reach deadly temperatures, a fact that is exacerbated the hotter it is.