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The 'Cool Zone'



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Outside the 'Cool Zone' in Valley Center. Photos by Ray Flores / The Valley Roadrunner
September 05, 2013
With un-seasonably high temperatures for this time of year Valley Center resident Adriana Rodstrom takes a little time to relax and cool off in Valley Center's only designated 'Cool Zone' at the local library while waiting to pick up her children from school.

People are encouraged to share air conditioning during hottest part of the day, which helps to lower individual usage and conserve energy during peak usage periods. The elderly and the disabled are especially encouraged to use the county's designated 'Cool Zones'.

Here are some tips from the San Diego County Aging and Independence Services website to help beat the heat:

• Slow down. Be your most physically active during the coolest part of the day, usually between 4-7 a.m. Pace yourself when engaging in physical activity.

• Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not being used, stay on the lowest floor. Keep shades down and blinds closed, but windows slightly open.

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Adriana Rodstrom waits inside the 'Cool Zone' before heading out into the heat to pick up her children from school.
• Go to a Cool Zone site on hot days.

• Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.

• Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.

• Avoid using the oven.

• Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's heat.

• Air out hot cars before getting into them.

• Never leave children or pets inside vehicles at any time, even with the windows cracked. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach lethal levels no matter what the weather is like.

• Drink more fluids than usual even if you do not feel thirsty.

• Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine; they make the heat's effects on your body worse.

• Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.

• Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

• If you take diuretics, ask your physician about a lower dosage during hot weather.

• If it is safe to do so, leave windows open at night. Open windows on two sides to create cross ventilation.

• Place a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil in sunny windows to reflect sunlight and heat away from the house.

• Vacuum, clean or replace air filters regularly for maximum cooling efficiency.

• If affordable, install outdoor awnings or sunscreens.

• Call your physician if you feel you may be experiencing a heat-related illness.

More information can be found at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/cool_zones/index.html

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