Butte County can experience very high temperatures in the summertime. Extreme heat or heat waves occur when the temperature reaches high levels or when the combination of heat and humidity causes the air to become oppressive. Extremely hot weather can cause illness in people and pets. Take steps to protect yourself, your family and your community from the dangers of extreme heat.
Stay informed about predicted extreme heat events by checking the local news or the National Weather Service. Extreme heat watch and heat advisory information will be posted on the Butte County Public Health Facebook page.
Look Before You Lock
During extreme heat, infants and children up to the age of four are at greater risk. Never leave infants or children in a parked car, even if the windows are open.
If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your pets! Keep your pets safe during periods of high heat by providing ample shade and water, limiting exercise, and never leaving your pet in a parked car. Even cracked windows won't protect your pet from overheating or suffering from heat stroke during hot summer days.
Heat-related illnesses happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough. In these cases, a person's body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
People at Increased Risk for Heat-Related Illness
- Young children
- Adults 65 and older
- People with chronic disease or disability
- Pregnant women
- People who work outside
- People without access to air conditioning
Prevent Heat-Related Illness
- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don't feel thirsty.
- Avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
- Stay cool indoors. If you don't have air conditioning, visit a public place with air conditioning, such as a shopping mall or library.
- Wear light clothing and sunscreen.
- Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, between 10 am to 4 pm.
- Rest often in the shade.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who may not have air conditioning.
- Never leave infants, children, the elderly, or pets in a parked car.
Heat cramps are muscle pains and spasms due to heavy activity. They usually involve the stomach muscles or the legs. It is generally thought that the loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes cramps. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
If these symptoms are observed: get the person to a cooler location, remove excess clothing and hydrate with water. Avoid giving liquids with caffeine or alcohol. Seek medical attention if cramps do not subside within one hour.
Heat exhaustion can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures and it often is accompanied by dehydration. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can turn into heat stroke.
- Cool and clammy skin
- Pale face
- Muscle cramps
- Heavy sweating
If these symptoms are observed: Move to a cool place, loosen clothing, sip water and apply a cool/wet compress on your body or take a cool bath. Get medical attention immediately if you are throwing up, and your symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
Heat stroke happens when the body can no longer control its temperature. The body's temperature rises fast. The body cannot sweat and is unable to cool itself. Heat stroke can cause death or disability if treatment is not given.
- High body temperature above 103
- Hot dry red skin
- Rapid pulse
If these symptoms are observed: Get medical help quickly. Get the victim to a shady area and cool them off with a cool shower or garden hose. Do not give the victim fluids to drink.