City of Lynchburg urges public to take precautions during extreme heat

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) The City of Lynchburg is urging the public to take precautions this weekend due to expected high temperatures.

There will be two cooling centers open on Saturday and Sunday for residents to cool off. The College Hill Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's located at 811 Jackson Street. Salvation Army will also be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's located at 2215 Park Avenue.

The city released these tips to follow during days of extreme heat:

-Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

-Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar - these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

-Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library - even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

-Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

-Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

-NEVER leave anyone or any pets in a closed, parked vehicle.

-If at all possible, bring outdoor pets inside. Always provide fresh water – whether your pet is inside or outside. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

-Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

-Infants and young children

-People aged 65 or older

-People who have a mental illness

-Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

-If you must be out in the heat:

-Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.

-Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.

-Try to rest often in shady areas.

-Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).