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OC Health Care Agency Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2014

Contact: Deanne Thompson, dthompson@ochca.com, 714-834-2178

High Temperatures and Wildfire Smoke Pose Potential Health Risk

(Santa Ana) – Higher than normal temperatures are expected throughout the weekend in many inland Orange County cities, increasing the risk of heat related illnesses. In addition, smoke from the wildland brush fire burning in Silverado Canyon may pose a health danger to some Orange County residents, especially those in certain high-risk groups. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a Smoke Advisory for portions of Orange County, including the Saddleback Valley and Capistrano Valley areas.



“Everyone should take precautions to stay cool and drink plenty of water to reduce health risks related to the heat and wildfire smoke,” said Dr. Eric Handler, County Health Officer. “Additional precautions are especially needed for older adults, those with preexisting medical conditions like heart or lung disease, those with disabilities, children, and those who may be working outdoors.” Dr. Handler also reminds residents to check on their family members, friends and neighbors this weekend.

Heat Related Illness Signs & Symptoms:

Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include: heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness.

  • Warning signs of heat stroke may include: extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache.
  • If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.
  • Precautions to Prevent Heat Related Illnesses:
    • Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
    • Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in vehicles.
    • Stay cool indoors. If your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.
    • Check often on those at high-risk. This includes older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and young children. Be sure to check on your neighbors.
    • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and use sunscreen.
    • Avoid unnecessary exertion outdoors. Take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.
    • Provide shade and extra water for your pets.
  • Precautions to Reduce Health Effects of Wildfire Smoke:
    • Avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor activity
    • People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors
    • Keep the windows and doors in your home closed
    • Use your home and automobile air conditioners on the re-circulate mode, if available, to limit the intake of outdoor air and keep your home comfortable.
    • Keep your airways (nose and mouth) moist by drinking extra amounts of water. This helps your body filter out potentially harmful particles in the smoke.
    • Seek medical attention if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue

For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.

For more information about the South Coast Air Quality Management District Smoke Advisory, visit the AQMD website http://www.aqmd.gov/.

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By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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