Valley Heat is Here, Stay Cool

(Photo by Ron Sundquist)

With the oppressive heat of the Valley, summer is upon us, finding ways to stay cool can be vitally important to staying healthy and comfortable.

Typically, Clovis has cooling centers that are open to the public for beating the heat. However, due to the restrictions, there are none, there are just two locations in Fresno County that are operating currently.

The two locations open are Ted C. Wills Community Center, located at 770 N. San Pablo Ave., and Frank H. Ball Neighborhood Center, located at 760 Mayor Ave., are both open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. for visitors.

If unable to make it to these centers, there are some other steps that can be taken to avoid overheating.

Stay hydrated. Sweating is the body’s way of keeping itself cool, but it needs something to work with. Recommendations vary, but try to drink two to four glasses of water an hour in excessive heat. Do not wait until thirsty to drink.

Make sure to dress appropriately by wearing loose-fitting and breathable clothing, like cotton, and footwear that won’t leave your feet sweaty. Also, try wearing hats when outdoors. They can play a big role in keeping your head cooler by providing shade.

Cool your bed sheets by refrigerating or freezing them for half an hour before you sleep. It will help you stay cool during the night.

Place an ice pack or water bottle on your neck, ankles, elbow bends, wrist, temples and behind the knees. These areas are pressure points that help cool your body down.

Try eating some spicy food. It seems counterintuitive, but spicy food can raise the body’s temperature enough to cause sweating.

Avoid using the stove if possible. The stove or oven can make your house even hotter.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to stay in air conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit strenuous outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.

The CDC also says to take cool showers and baths to avoid overheating.

Make sure to know and look out for signs of heat exhaustion. More than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States. People at the highest risk are those 65 or older, children younger than two and people with chronic diseases and mental illness.

The Mayo Clinic says to watch out for cool and moist skin with goosebumps when in the heat. Heavy sweating, dizziness, fatigue, a weak and rapid pulse, low blood pressure upon standing, faintness, muscle cramps, headache and nausea are all symptoms of possible heat exhaustion.

The CDC recommends checking in on friends and neighbors and having them do the same for you.

Seek medical care right away if experiencing these symptoms.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.