If you need to cool off, the City of Irvine offers cooling centers where you can beat the heat. All City of Irvine facilities are designated cooling centers; where you can enjoy recreation programming or a good book while you cool off.
Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures may cause serious heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke for those who are sensitive to heat. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness. 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. Assist those with signs of heat stroke 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. Use sunscreen.
- Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in buildings that aren’t air-conditioned. 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 vehicles.
- Ensure outdoor pets have access to shade and water.
- 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 cdc.gov.
Hot Weather Tips for Pets
- Overheating (heat prostration) can kill your pet. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked slightly; it only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside to reach 160 degrees. With only hot air to breathe, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When traveling, carry a gallon thermos of fresh, cool water for your pet.
- In hot, humid weather, do not force your pet to get exercise after a meal. Always exercise your pet in the cool of the morning or evening. In extreme hot weather, do not leave your pet standing on the hot pavement, and keep walks to a minimum. Your pet is much closer to the ground and his body can heat up quickly.
- Never take your pet on an outing unless you can provide a shady spot to rest and plenty of fresh water to drink.
- Always provide plenty of shade for your pets that stay outside of the house. A properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your pet inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of the house. Be sensitive to the needs of older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus) and those with heart and lung disease should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
- A clean coat can help prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog and cat well groomed.
- If your pet sports a heavy coat, shaving your dog’s hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Do not shave your dog’s hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep its coat tangle-free.
For further information on how to help your pet beat the heat, call the County of Orange Public Education Office at 714-935-6301.