Needles, CA: Staying cool and safe in the heat.

Needles, CA: Staying cool and safe in the heat.

Very hot weather conditions have arrived to the Needles, California area and before you go do anything in the heat, here’s some tips on what to do to stay safe outside in the heat.

**** Tips for the Heat: ****

– Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of liquids, preferably water when outside in the heat and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

– Dress for the Heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, as it reflects heat and sunlight and helps your body stay cooler. Avoid wearing dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Wear hats or use an umbrella when outside in the heat.

– Protect Yourself from the Heat: Protect your body from getting a sunburn by wearing sunscreen; apply plenty of sunscreen.

– Eating in the Heat: Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat. Slow down.

– Working Out in the Heat: Avoid strenuous activity and stay indoors when possible. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00am and 7:00am. Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days. Take time out to find a cool place.

– No Children or Pets Alone in Hot Vehicle: Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

– Boating Safe: If going to be boating along the Colorado River or on the lake, please operate your watercraft safety, following the rules on operating a watercraft, and no drinking of alcohol well operating your watercraft.

According to the California Division of Boating and Waterways, under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity.

The United States Coast Guard reports nearly 5,000 boating accidents each year in the United States—causing approximately 700 deaths, 3,000 injuries and $36 million in damage. About 85% of all boating deaths occur on boats where the operator has not completed a boating safety education course.

**** Signs, Symptoms, and Tips for Heat-Related Illness: ****

According to the American Red Cross, during heat waves people are susceptible to three heat-related conditions. Here’s how to recognize and respond to them.

– Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area. Give an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as a commercial sports drink, fruit juice or milk. Water may also be given. Do not give the person salt tablets.

– Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Heat exhaustion often affects athletes, firefighters, construction workers and factory workers. It also affects those wearing heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes. Milk or water may also be given. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes. If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 911 or the local emergency number.

– Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning. Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures. Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. Rapidly cool the body by immersing the person up to the neck in cold water, if possible OR douse or spray the person with cold water. Sponge the person with ice water-doused towels over the entire body, frequently rotating the cold, wet towels. Cover the person with bags of ice. If you are not able to measure and monitor the person’s temperature, apply rapid cooling methods for 20 minutes or until the person’s condition improves.

**** Water Safety: ****

Swimming is the most popular summer activity, especially in the Colorado River Tri-State area, but before you go out and enjoy the cool water, here’s what to know before you enjoy the water.

– Make Water Safety Your Priority:

Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses. Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests. Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous. If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning. Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

– Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water:

Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection. Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach. If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use. Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment. Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

– Maintain Constant Supervision:

Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise. Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water. Know What to Do in an Emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.

– Enroll and Learn:

Enroll in American Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

Also, enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons by calling the American Red Cross’ Training Support Center either by phone at: 1 (800) RED-CROSS or by email at:

**** Additional Information and Resources: ****

– American Red Cross (Heat Wave and Water Safety):

– Ready.Gov:

– California Division of Boating and Waterways (Boating Safety):

****Local Weather Forecast: ***

Before you go outside please check the local weather forecast at ZachNews for the latest weather conditions in the Colorado River communities of Needles, California; Topock, Arizona; and Mohave Valley, Arizona.

** Please Have Fun, Be Safe, and Stay Cool Everybody!! **

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