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Q&A

How to Avoid Heat Dangers

July 26, 2006

Question: What are some tips for avoiding heat-related illnesses?

Answer: Drink plenty of water but avoid caffeine and alcohol, which cause fluid loss. Drink fruit juice or sports drinks to replace salt and minerals lost through sweat. Take advantage of shade and air conditioning. Children, the elderly and pets should never be left in an enclosed vehicle, even briefly. The temperature can quickly rise to life-threatening levels even with the windows partly open.

Q: Are certain people more susceptible to heat illness?

A: Many of those who have died of suspected heat-related causes were either elderly people or transients who could not find shelter from the heat.

Q: What is heat stroke?

A: The body gets so hot that the normal mechanisms for controlling temperature, such as perspiration, don't work well or fail completely. The body's temperature can rise to 106 or higher.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: They include but are not limited to dizziness, hot and dry skin, high temperature, rapid pulse and headache.

Q: Are animals affected?

A: Yes. Officials in both the Inland Empire and Central Valley said there has been an increase in requests to collect farm animals who apparently died because of the heat.

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