The weekend heat has pushed the City of Merced to open cooling zones for residents Saturday and Sunday.
Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 103 degrees, according to a National Weather Service forecast.
The cooling zone will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Sam Pipes Room in the Merced Civic Center at 678 W. 18th St. Pets will be allowed as long as they don’t disturb other people or pets.
“We encourage people who don’t have air conditioning to come in and escape the heat,” Fire Chief Billy Alcorn said.
Residents are encouraged to stay hydrated and wear loose clothes and light colored fabric. They also are encouraged to check on neighbors and vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly. Alcorn also warned residents against leaving kids and pets in vehicles.
The Merced County Office of Emergency Services has these recommendations to consider during a heat wave.
- Don’t leave infants, children or elderly unattended in parked cars.
- Drink plenty of fluids, not just when you are thirsty.
- Dress in lightweight, loose clothing; Use hats and sunscreen
- Drink electrolyte-replenishing drinks to replace salt and minerals lost during sweating.
- Keep physical activity to cooler parts of the day, and stay indoors in A/C and out of the sun during the hotter parts.
- Use fans.
- Open windows to allow fresh air circulation.
- Use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths to stay cool.
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals that add heat to the body; Consider frozen treats.
Here are the signs of heat stroke.
- Extremely high body temperatures, usually above 103 degrees.
- Dizziness, nausea and confusion.
- Red, hot and dry skin with no sweating.
- Rapid and strong pulse.
- Throbbing headache
Here are the signs of heat exhaustion.
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
If you see signs of heat stroke or exhaustion, it may be a life-threatening emergency and the Merced County OES recommends doing the following.
- Have someone call 911 and begin cooling the victim.
- Get the victim in a shaded area.
- Cool the victim quickly with a cool bath or shower, or sponging with cool water, until body temperature drops to 101 to 102 degrees.
- If emergency personnel is delayed, call a hospital emergency room for more instructions.
- Don’t give the victim alcohol to drink.
- If the victim twitches uncontrollably, keep him or her from injuring himself or herself, but don’t place any objects in the mouth or give fluids. If vomiting, make sure the victim’s airway remains open by turning him or her to the side.