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How to avoid heat stroke this summer

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Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:26 am, Fri Jul 13, 2012.

With temperatures hovering in the high 90s and even the triple digits for the foreseeable future, the possibility of heat exhaustion and heat stroke is also on the rise.

San Joaquin County Public Health Services released a warning on Thursday urging residents in the San Joaquin Valley to do their best to stay out of the heat.

Be it air conditioning or drinking lots of water, at-risks groups, mainly the elderly and young children, need to make sure they are taking care of themselves while they are out and about in the heat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people die each year from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined.

The county's public health services also stated that heat stress can result in a variety of heat-related ailments, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rashes.

Warning signs of early heat stress include "heavy sweating, muscle cramps, headache, nausea or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and fainting."

If you have to be out in the heat, wear loose clothing, particularly those who work outside for extended periods of time, said Tamra Tracy, the emergency department manager at Lodi Memorial Hospital. She also said to stay hydrated.

"Our body is 75 percent water," she said. "Water is the foundation for cells in the body. The most important thing to do is drink water."

If you do not have to be outside, then do not go out, Tracy added.

Turn up the air conditioning if you have to, she said, even if it costs a little extra, or go to a place that is air conditioned, like the Lodi Public Library or the mall in Stockton.

"Don't be so concerned to turn on the AC," she said. "You should find a place that is cool."

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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