Published in the July 5 – July 18, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Image result for hot summerSummertime heat waves came early to the South Valley, with residents sweltering in triple-digit weather for several days in mid-June. And no doubt there will be more days in the 90s and 100s in the next three months. That’s why we encourage readers to use common sense and take precautions to ensure their physical safety when Santa Clara County gives out heat advisory notices.

The safety threat is real here in Morgan Hill, especially for infants, young children and the elderly. Take the recent example of a 72-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman, both from San Jose, who died June 19 from causes attributed to the extreme heat.

Every year, the public hears the sad news of an infant or toddler who died because a parent or guardian left them unattended in a vehicle, which can turn into a baking oven. But consider other dangerous situations where infants and young children can get dehydrated quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink. Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible. And dress children in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.

For those Morgan Hill residents without air-conditioned shelter, the county recommends going to the Community and Cultural Center or the Centennial Recreation Center on hot summer days. Pets also face the threat of heat during the summer months. Along with support from Animal Services, Santa Clara County libraries are allowing pets inside their facilities during hot days. (Check with the library before bringing your pet.) This is being allowed during normal library hours to help residents and their pets cope with the excessive heat. Pets on leashes are encouraged. Crates may also be provided upon request.

Older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions should follow advice from the Santa Clara County website:

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During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as cooling centers, shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.

Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water.

Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect against sun damage. And remember to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses.

We encourage all Morgan Hill Life readers to enjoy a summer of fun in the sun. Just remember when those sunny days get to extreme temperatures, take precautions for your safety.

COOLING CENTERS

• Centennial Recreation Center: 171 W. Edmundson Ave.
Sunday: 8 a.m..-.6 p.m.
Monday-Friday: 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
• Community and Cultural Center: 17000 Monterey St.
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.​m.