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Stay Cool, Stay Safe

May 31, 2018

Remember last year when the Inland Empire broke a long-time record and it hit a scorching 109 degrees in Riverside? As much as we all love summer, extreme heat sometimes comes along with it. We may not have control over the high temps but the experts at Riverside Medical Clinic would like to help you prepare. We’ve gathered some good health tips as well as a list of cool centers where you can go to cool off.

Heat-related illnesses

In extreme heat, evaporation slows down and the body must work harder to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to heat-related illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke – even death as the body becomes overworked. Teens and children are at risk because they adjust to heat more slowly than adults. Also, people with heart or kidney problems and those on low-sodium diets may be susceptible to heat-related illness.

If you notice any signs of dehydration, dizziness, muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, stop activity immediately. Go to a cooler location, loosen clothing and lie down. Take sips of cool sports drinks or water, and place cold packs on the skin. Get medical help if any symptoms get worse or last more than an hour. If the person is unable to take fluids, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.

Coping where you are

If you’re outdoors: Limit physical activity or schedule exercise during early morning hours. Try to stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. Teach kids to take breaks and to stay hydrated.

If you’re indoors: Use fans to circulate the air along with the A/C. Don’t use fans by themselves as they could create a false sense of comfort but not actually reduce body temperature. Covering windows and closing your shades can also help cool the home.

In your vehicle: It’s never safe to leave kids, pets or disabled persons alone in a parked car, not even for a “moment” while you run an errand. Temperatures can rise quickly inside so always remember to look before you lock.

On the job site: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a heat safety app that will tell you the potential health risk level to outdoor workers. It will also provide you with reminders about staying hydrated and taking breaks, plus help you spot heat illness symptoms in coworkers. Download it here.

Escape to a cool center

The City of Riverside will open a number of cool centers whenever the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning. Days of extremely dangerous heat are usually defined as being 95 degrees or hotter. You can then use these public facilities to escape the heat. They include…

9 community centers:

  • Arlanza Community Center at Bryant Park
  • Cesar Chavez Community Center at Bobby Bonds Park
  • Joyce Jackson Community Center at Nichols Park
  • La Sierra Community Center at La Sierra Park
  • Orange Terrace Community Center at Orange Terrace Park
  • Renck Community Center at Hunt Park
  • Ruth Lewis Community Center at Reid Park
  • Stratton Community Center at Bordwell Park
  • Ysmael Villegas Community Center at Villegas Park

8 libraries:

  • Arlington Library on Magnolia Ave.
  • Arlanza Library on Philbin Ave.
  • Casa Blanca Library on Madison St.
  • Eastside Library on Chicago Ave.
  • La Sierra Library on La Sierra Ave.
  • Main Library on Mission Inn Ave.
  • Marcy Library on Magnolia Ave.
  • Orange Terrace Library on Orange Terrace Pkwy

3 senior centers:

  • Janet Goeske Senior Center on Sierra Street
  • Dales Senior Center on Chestnut Street
  • La Sierra Senior Center at La Sierra Park

The county also has cool centers set up for people who live outside Riverside city limits. You can find relief at places in Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Cabazon, Calimesa, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Idyllwild, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Mecca, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, North Store, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, San Jacinto, Temecula and Thermal. Access their list online here.

If you have any questions about protecting your family from heat-related illness, please call us at Riverside Medical Clinic. Our number is 951-782-3602.

Riverside Medical Clinic