CARLSBAD — As Carlsbad’s weather turns from drizzle to sizzle, with temperatures increasing by 15 degrees or more, city staff remind residents to take advantage of Cool Zones – free, air-conditioned public gathering places.
The city’s Cool Zones help older adults and others keep cool and save energy costs. The sites provide an environment where people can avoid heat-related injuries and stress and share air conditioning during the heat of the day, lowering individual usage and helping to conserve energy for the whole community.
Carlsbad offers cool zones at Carlsbad City Library, 1775 Dove Lane, (760) 602-2049; and the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave., (760) 602-4650.
Follow these other tips for dealing with the heat:
— Go to a Cool Zone site on hot days.
— Slow down. Be your most physically active during the coolest part of the day, usually between 4 a.m. and 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.
— Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
— 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.
— 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.