Triple-digit summertime temperatures are a fact of life in parts of California. Heat can be a killer if you're not careful and play it cool. Here are things to remember when the temperatures soar.
Most healthy adults can cope with heat; their bodies are able to maintain normal temperatures…up to a point. The body maintains its temperature primarily through sweating. When body heat rises above the norm, the brain causes the blood vessels in the skin to dilate, providing increased blood flow at the surface of the body and supplying increased fluids to make sweat. As perspiration evaporates, it cools the surface of the body and lowers body temperature. If the humidity is higher, it is more difficult for the body to perspire normally.
Hot weather affects the elderly and the infirmed more than those who are in better health. Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
The best defense is PREVENTION.
Here are some precautions you can take…
- Wear light weight, light-colored loose-fitting clothing.
- Apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of at least "SPF 15" to exposed portions of the body.
- Limit exposure during the hottest hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- If possible, avoid strenuous work or exercise outside.
- Take advantage of shade in the environment and/or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay in air-conditioned areas or use cooling fans to speed sweat evaporation.
Cooling centers are open across Southern California. Find a center you can go to in your area.
Riverside County cooling centers: http://www.rivcohealthdata.org/home/index.php/cool-centers