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Auburnites have several ways to beat the heat

Draining small pools is important to prevent drowning, aquatics coordinator says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Summer is in full swing, and local officials say there are several things residents should know to beat the heat in a safe way. According to Kathy Hoxsie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento, Auburnites can expect highs in the mid 90 degrees to near 100 degrees Fahrenheit for Tuesday and Wednesday, with a slight cool down to the mid 80 or 90 degrees Thursday through Sunday. Hoxsie said next week a slight cooling trend is expected and temperatures will be “warm, but not hot.” Hoxsie said a low system is expected next week, that could possibly bring rain, but usually rain only comes with thunderstorms in the summer. The recent cooler temperatures don’t mean a cooler summer, Hoxsie said. “This is the time of year we start seeing 100 (degree temperatures),” Hoxsie said. “If not, it might be a little later than normal. Probably the main thing we are getting a lot of questions about is, ‘Since we were so cool for so long, does it mean it’s going to be a cool summer?’ It doesn’t. There is not a correlation between that. There is nothing to indicate that it’s not just a typical summer where we are expecting 14 to 20 days above 100 (degrees).” As some flock to pools to stay cool, officials are urging parents to practice pool safety with their children. “I think first and foremost parents need to watch their kids, especially the non-swimmers, be in the water with non-swimmers,” said Patti Waskowiak, aquatics coordinator for the Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District. “The other part of it is staying hydrated, even though you are in the pool, (that is) important. Testing the water, that kids know how to swim, they get out and take rest periods (are also important safety precautions). Parents need to keep an eye out and recognize when their kids are getting tired.” Swim lessons are always important in promoting pool safety, and parents should never assume their children are OK in the pool, Waskowiak said. Waskowiak said it’s equally important to get toys out of pools when water play is done, because toddlers may reach for toys late and tumble in. It’s also important to drain small wading pools. According to a study done by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a child drowns in a portable pool every five days in the United States. Conditions like heat stroke and heat exhaustion are things to take precautions against during the summer. Heat stroke takes place when the body is unable to regulate its temperature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During this condition body temperature rises rapidly and the person can no longer sweat to relieve themselves of heat. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, confusion, a throbbing headache, a rapid pulse and unconsciousness. Dr. Mark Starr, director of Community Health and Clinics for Placer County, said anyone experiencing heat stroke should call 911 immediately to avoid possible brain damage or death. Heat exhaustion can occur when a person experiences several days of hot temperatures and an unbalanced replacement of fluids, according to the CDC. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea and fainting. Starr said there are several ways to avoid getting these conditions. “The biggest things are pretty straight forward advice,” Starr said. “Stay indoors and cool if you can. Air conditioned buildings are really the best prevention, and if people have trouble with air conditioners … there are libraries and shopping malls where people can go to, someplace that is air conditioned, stay there a few hours. If you do have to go outdoors in extreme heat, minimize your activity, wear light colored clothing, wear a hat and drink plenty of fluids.” Starr said a cool bath or shower is also good for people in homes without air conditioning and seniors who are living alone should have someone who can check in with them during hot days. According to Robert Miller, spokesman for Placer County, county heat emergencies are called when there are three or more days in a row with high temperatures of 105 degrees and nighttime temperatures remain above 75 degrees. During this time cooling centers are opened at the Auburn, Loomis, and Rocklin and Granite Bay libraries. The centers are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Miller said. As far as youth are concerned prepubertal children have the highest risk of getting heat stroke or heat exhaustion, said Dr. Claire Unis, of Sutter Medical Foundation Pediatrics in Auburn. Parents should try to limit their kids’ outdoor daytime activities during summer months, Unis said. “General physical fitness is important — it can take young kids two weeks for their bodies to adjust to high temperatures, but it’s even worse for kids who are obese or not physically fit,” Unis said. “And the right clothing — thin, light-colored, breathable clothing is ideal. People ask about sports drinks, and I think during exercise, they are great — kids will sometimes drink more just because of the flavor. Remind kids to drink when it is hot out — they don’t always think of it themselves. You might have to schedule drink breaks to make sure it happens.” Candace Roeder, executive director of Seniors First in Auburn, said seniors can stay cool by visiting the senior center on E Avenue or the Placer County Welcome Center on B Avenue in Auburn. “I always would suggest going to a senior center and partaking in some of the activities: read, do a puzzle, learn how to knit,” Roeder said. “But also a number of seniors live in mobile homes and a lot of them have pools (in their communities). So, get in the water. Obviously, if you can cool down your core, that’s going to carry you for awhile.” Roeder said seniors can contact Seniors First at (530) 889-9500 for assistance in getting to these destinations. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com