Health effects to watch for during triple-digit heat wave

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Whether it's cooling off in a neighborhood splash pad or keeping the AC on at home a little longer than usual, anyone who lives in the Valley will need some relief from the heat this week.

During this stretch of triple-digit temperatures, Tulare County Public Health officials recommend drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol, among other things.

"Try to avoid the hot parts of the day and don't exert yourself, especially if you have any kind of chronic conditions," said Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught.

If you are outside, be mindful of unhealthy air quality too.

Ozone levels can jump up during stretches of hot sunny days, but the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says those levels have decreased dramatically in recent years, as Valley residents and businesses have embraced clean-air technologies.

"We had a fantastic ozone season last summer," said Valley Air District's Heather Heinks.

"We still see an elevation in ozone but what we find is that our numbers overall are improving and trending downward."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone in the air can harm your health in many different ways, from causing chest pain to reducing lung function.

This week, the district expects ozone levels to reach "unhealthy for sensitive groups," which includes the young, old, and anyone with a breathing condition like asthma.

Dr. Haught says those people should have their action plans in place and medications ready.

"They should avoid the later parts of the day because that's when the ozone levels are higher and also try to avoid any strenuous activity and prolonged activity," she said.

To monitor ozone levels at your location, click here

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District also has an air monitoring app called "Valley Air District."
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.