Doctors offer tips on how to stay healthy during heat wave

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Children and seniors are most at risk of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke but everyone can be affected.

High temperatures this week has some rethinking their daily routines.

“Since the COVID started, I started walking, I walk every day,” Rosie Pedrini told FOX40 Wednesday, during one of her walks at Victory Park.

But the heat wave is forcing her to adapt to stay cool. 

“I walk here quite a bit. Today, I brought my sister-in-law, and we thought we’d walk before it got too hot, because tomorrow and Friday it’s going to be really hot,” Pedrini said.

Doctors advise those spending a lot of time in the sun to be on the lookout for symptoms of heat-related illness such as excessive sweating, dizziness or lightheadedness, fatigue and an elevated heartrate.

Sutter Medical Center emergency doctors from Sacramento and Oakland told FOX40 the best ways to stay safe during the heat wave.

If you don’t recognize it, it can really lead to very bad outcomes,” warned Dr. Ronn Berrol who is the emergency department medical director at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Oakland campus.

“We know in the Central Valley that it gets really hot between noon and four o’clock, so try to avoid being out in the sun, direct sun for that time period,” advised Dr. Arthur Jey, an emergency room doctor at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento and the Roseville Medical Center. “Hydration, timing, good clothing that where the, where the air can flow, a hat and sunscreen will all keep you safe.”

Doctors say don’t leave the house without putting on sunscreen. They recommend SPF 30 or higher and say not to forget to reapply every few hours. 

“If you get a burn to the skin, that inhibits or prevents the body’s natural mechanisms for cooling from working effectively,” Berrol explained.

Triple-digit temperatures are expected to last through the end of this weekend.

Doctors’ advice to people who are experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness is to err on the side of caution and go see a doctor. 

“We’d rather they come in early and have it be a false alarm because that’s when you have the opportunity to treat the earlier when someone comes in,” Berrol said.

While Pedrini prefers to spend her time outdoors, she says she’s counting down the days until the heat wave is over. 

“I don’t like the heat,” she said. “I don’t like it this hot.”

Doctors recommend to also look out for each other and check on elderly neighbors or anyone else who may be vulnerable to the heat. 

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