Temperatures in many inland Orange County communities are expected to reach high temperatures above 95 degrees this week and into the weekend, increasing the risk of heat related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke for those who are more sensitive to heat. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures may cause serious conditions like heat exhaustion or heat stroke and can even be fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness. At the first sign of heat exhaustion, move to a cool location, rest and drink fluids. Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water. Recommended precautions to prevent heat related illnesses include: • Drink plenty of water; don’t wait until you are thirsty. • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. •Stay out of the sun if possible, and when in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and use sunscreen. • Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in non-air conditioned buildings. If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area. • Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles. • Check on those who are at high risk to make sure they are staying cool – including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease, and young children. • Stay cool indoors – if your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool. For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.
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