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East County News Service

September 16, 2014 (San Diego)--If you’re sweltering in the extreme heat that’s hit our region, San Diego County health officials recommend these tips to help stay cool:

  • 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 operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 100 air-conditioned buildings as cooling centers. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler.  Do not rely on electric fans for cooling if temperatures exceed 90 degrees. 

The sites are identified by a light blue Polar Bear Cool Zone logo. Call 2-1-1 San Diego or visit for a list of locations including hours of operation.  Here in East County, these cool zones include many libraries and community centers, for example.

An extremely high body temperature of 103 or higher, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache are signs of heat stroke or exhaustion. 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

Elderly people age 65 years and older, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress. People with elderly neighbors should check on the well-being of the older persons.

There is some good news on the horizon:  rain is forecast later this week, bringing welcome relief to our heat and drought stricken region.


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