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Tips for Cooling Off

Lake County, Calif. (September 1, 2017) - Too hot? Tips for cooling off and staying healthy-

With very hot weather and smoky conditions upon us, Lake County Public Health wants to remind everyone of some simple ways to find some relief that could be important to your health.
            
Some people are at particular risk for suffering heat illness due to an impaired ability to sweat and control their body temperature.     This includes the very young and the very old, as well as people taking certain medications.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are uncertain about how your medications may affect you.   Examples of medications that increase the risk of heat-related illness include diuretics (“water pills”), some medications used for mental health conditions, antihistamines, and drugs used for overactive bladder.

Things you can do to cool off are:

•    Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty
•    Wear loosely fitting, light colored, breathable clothes
•    Keep your physical activity low
•    Drink cool non-alcoholic beverages and choose salads, cold sandwiches and frozen treats over hot meals
•    Apply cool compresses, such as wet towels, to exposed skin, or take a cool shower or bath
•    Avoid use of ovens, stoves, or other heat-generating appliances indoors

Remember that running a fan will help cool you off only if there is sweat or moisture evaporating from your skin.

If you need relief from hot conditions in your home, remember that there are air conditioned places you can go, such as local libraries, senior centers and shopping centers.  Enjoying a meal at a local restaurant or getting some shopping done in an air conditioned store may be just the break you need to cool off.   

Monitor how you feel and how friends and family members appear.  Signs and symptoms of heat illness can be easily overlooked in the early stages and it is important to take action early in order to prevent heat exhaustion from progressing to the more serious condition of heat stroke.   

If you notice heavy sweating, feeling weak or dizzy, nausea or muscle cramps, move to a cool place, sip water, and put cool wet cloths on your body.   If this does not improve the symptoms within an hour, medical evaluation is advisable.

People who develop mental confusion, feel faint or pass out and have hot dry skin (indicating that they are not capable of sweating in order to cool off), have a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment.    

Remember to protect pets by keeping them indoors (never in a car) or in the shade with plenty of cool water to drink.                                                                                           
For more information on how to beat the heat, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.html