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Staying Safe and Cool in San Diego's Heat Wave

The McClellan Law Firm

San Diego is in the midst of a heat wave, with record-breaking temperatures and a heat advisory expected through Tuesday evening. Temperatures on the field at Qualcomm Stadium were well above 100 degrees during Sunday afternoon's game, with the Chargers' official twitter account posting a picture of a thermometer reading 120 degrees on the field around 12:40pm. Temperatures above 100 are expected through today and tomorrow in many inland communities throughout San Diego County.

High temperatures have prompted the early closure of more than 100 San Diego Unified School District schools on Monday. Any school without full air conditioning will have its day shortened. Additional San Diego Gas & Electric workers have also been placed on standby to deal with outages, which often occur due to excessive air conditioning use during heat waves.

As a San Diego resident or worker, what can you do to beat the heat? High temperatures are not only uncomfortable; they may pose a real safety hazard. The following are several safety tips that can help you and others avoid the dangers of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses:

  • Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a few minutes. In a heat wave, it only takes a few minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to reach dangerous levels. Infants and small children may be particularly susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if left in enclosed vehicles.
  • Postpone outdoor activities until it cools off to safer temperatures.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
  • If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks to rest, drink water and cool off. Take care not to overexert yourself.
  • Check on your friends, family members, animals and others who do not have air conditioning, who work outdoors or who may be susceptible to heat-related injury.

It is also important to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and to render aid or call 911 if you or someone you know is in trouble. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Muscle pains and spasms
  • Flushed, clammy or ashen skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness, fatigue or exhaustion

If you notice potential signs of a heat-related injury, immediately get the person to a cooler location. Give them water or a beverage containing electrolytes, like a sports drink. Apply cool, wet cloths to their skin. If their condition does not improve or worsens, call 911.

Possible signs of heat stroke include:

  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

If you notice signs of heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person to a cooler location. This is a life-threatening condition. Try to cool off the person by immersing, dousing or spraying them with cold water. You can also apply cloths doused in ice water and can use bags of ice to cover the person and lower their body temperature until emergency help arrives.

Helping the Injured in San Diego

At The McClellan Law Firm, we represent clients across San Diego who have been injured in auto accidents, work accidents and other situations that could have been prevented had safety regulations been followed or proper care given in the circumstances. For more information on personal injury claims related to heat illness, please call our offices. A San Diego injury lawyer can offer knowledgeable guidance.