The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for many areas in Southern California. This means that residents should be prepared for temperatures to exceed 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 24-72 hours.
Because of this, Southern California residents should take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other afflictions associated with excessive temperatures. During the extent of a heat wave, make sure to limit exposure to direct sunlight which can cause burns and increase the temperature by up to 15 degrees. Residents should also ensure that they will have a cool, air-conditioned place to reside during the day to prevent dangerous exposure to these high temperatures.
During the upcoming heat wave, it is important to remember a few key tips which will keep everyone out of harm’s way. Remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and avoid strenuous activity in the full sunlight. Take frequent breaks when working outside to avoid overheating or dehydration and avoid wearing tight, dark clothes which can contribute to these negative effects. In addition, avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol which can increase dehydration and make sure that children, relatives, and pets all have sufficient access to water and shade.
In case of an emergency, it will be valuable to know how to treat various heat-based illnesses. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are increasingly serious results of heat exposure. In case of heat cramps, it is important to move the affected person to a cool, shaded area and provide them with an electrolyte-replenishing beverage. For more serious cases of heat exhaustion, loosen the victims clothing and provide them with liquids and circulating air. The most serious illness is heat stroke, which can be life-threatening, and must be treated by medical professionals. After calling 9-1-1, the victim must be cooled by being doused or submerged in cool water until paramedics arrive.
The Excessive Heat Watch is a valuable warning to protect yourself against heat-related illness and dehydration during this upcoming heat wave. Stay safe and learn more about heat waves at www.redcross.org.