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San Diego Health Official Warns About Dangers Of Extreme Heat

East County residents urged to stay indoors, avoid strenuous activity

Excessive heat warnings are in effect through Monday night for eastern portions of San Diego County. National Weather Service forecasters are warning of triple digit temperatures in the foothills and up to 122 degrees in the lower desert.

San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten urged people to take precautions by staying inside, avoiding strenuous activity and drinking plenty of liquids.

Wooten said signs of heat-related illness include cramps, exhaustion and stroke.

"With exhaustion, they might have increased sweating, nausea, they could have muscle cramps," Wooten explained.

"With the heat stroke, that’s the extreme situation," warned Wooten. "They do not sweat. They can have confusion, nausea –- but that is the extreme case and that could end up putting someone in the hospital because their body’s cooling center is just malfunctioning and they can’t regulate their temperature."

Wooten said if someone shows these signs, call 9-1-1 and begin cooling the individual by:

  • Moving them to a shaded area
  • Spraying with cool water and fanning them
  • Placing them in a cool shower if they are alert
  • Monitoring the body temperature, and continue cooling efforts
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink

People without air conditioning in their homes are urged to go to a public place such as a shopping mall, library or senior center to stay cool.

The County will be opening up several air-conditioned libraries on Sunday in the far East County for additional cool locations. For locations and information, call 2-1-1.

To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don't wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

The County has designated 100 cool zones to provide air-conditioned settings and relief.

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