Long Beach Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, is advising residents to take precautions against the heat this week, particularly on Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31, with temperatures forecasted in the low to mid-90s in parts of Long Beach. “Our big concern is that the humidity this week is forecasted to be relatively high, which makes it feel hotter than the temperature might suggest,” said Dr. Kushner.
With high temperatures and humidity, people may develop heat-related conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, especially individuals working outside or participating in outdoor activities. “Certain groups such as the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, infants and young children are at greater risk for heat-related illness. It’s particularly important for individuals to seek air-conditioned environments during peak heat, such as stores, malls, libraries, park centers, and theaters,” Dr. Kushner added.
Additionally, people should remember to:
· Remain hydrated, and drink water before, during, and after outdoor activities. Avoid beverages that have caffeine or alcohol;
· Take frequent breaks while working or playing outdoors;
· Wear loose-fitting, light clothing; wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face, ears and neck if you’ll be outside;
· Apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen prevents skin cancer;
· Plan strenuous outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day; limit time outside during peak heat;
· Pace physical activities, starting slowly and picking up the pace gradually;
· Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts;
· Check on frail elderly or home-bound individuals to make sure they are not affected by the heat;
· Move to a cooler location at the first sign of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps); rest and slowly drink a cool liquid;
· Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or asleep in the direct sunlight;
· Take care of pets. Make sure they have plenty of shade and water to drink, walk dogs when the temperature is cooler, and make arrangements for pet care if you will be out of town (more summer safety tips for pets are at www.longbeach.gov/acs); and
· Prevent children from drowning by providing adult supervision at all times and having an entry-proof barrier that surrounds the pool or spa.