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Tips for surviving a Sacramento heat wave

Whether it's walking the dog, visiting a spray park, or saving money on air conditioning, there are tips, tricks, and advice available to help keep the family or oneself healthy and happy during the heat wave.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Summer is in full swing and with that comes heatwaves. 

But, there are a number of ways for Sacramentans to beat the heat. Whether it's walking the dog, visiting a spray park, or saving money on air conditioning, there are tips, tricks, and advice available to help keep the family or oneself healthy and happy during the heat wave.

1. Visit a spray park in the Sacramento area 

Sacramento is home to a number of parks with spray features such as misters and water play areas that the family can enjoy. Strawberry Manor Park, Witter Ranch Park, and North Natomas Regional Park are some of the parks in the area that have water features. For more information or to find a spray park in the Sacramento area, click here.

2. Plan ahead and plant a shade tree 

The Sacramento Shade Program is a service that provides free shade trees for homes in Sacramento County. A partnership with Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Sacramento Tree foundation provides a variety of trees at no charge to SMUD customers. The Shady Eighty tree guide can help narrow down a tree for people who would like to block some of the heat coming down.

3. Avoid burdening the air conditioner by following these PG&E Tips

The costs of cooling a home can quickly add up, and, even if the temperature keeps relatively steady, there are a number of options to ensure the air conditioner isn’t dealing with any additional burdens. PG&E has shared a variety of options that anyone can follow in their own homes.

4. Prepare your car for the heat

Cars can be stressed by the heat. For those reliant on their car, it can be worth the effort to ensure that it is prepared to deal with the stressors of summer and a summer heat wave. Issues ranging from tire wear to the functionality of the air conditioner can be key aspects to ensure a safe car in the summer.

5. Find out what the local church has to offer

In extreme temperatures, some churches can provide shelter to people. Different churches can have different capabilities, but some can range from kitchen serving capabilities to providing shelter space. Organizations like the Capital Christian Center have previously helped residents during cold weather periods through programs like “Winter Sanctuary.”

6. Try some cheap and unique ways to beat the heat

If staying idle during a heat wave is not an option, then there a few places to venture out toward that can help people beat the heat without breaking the bank. Places like the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg can provide an opportunity to get out of the house, stay cool, and even sample wine for a cost. Other options include the William B. Pond Recreation area in the southern portion of Carmichael, ice cream at Vic’s Ice Cream in Land Park and Gunther’s Ice Cream in Curtis Park, and even the State Indian Museum in Midtown.

7. Utilizing resources and planning strategically at the California State Fair

Heat does not appear to stop people from going to the California State Fair. If the fair is still on the radar for the day, then people can take advantage of the cooling centers, misters, shade, and even planning their day around the heat. Some people even do rides in the morning and move to the inside exhibits and water park in the afternoon.

8. Pets need some extra care and attention in extreme heat

Pets are not immune to the heat. In the extreme heat, pets need some extra care and attention to be comfortable. Normal things like walking the dog should take into consideration the heat and temperature of the pavement on the dog’s paws. There are plenty of ways to take care of a pet during a heat wave ranging from shade access and water to just keeping the house cool.

9. Know the symptoms and differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Heat exhaustion is generally considered to be a milder form of heat-related illness, according to the Center for Disease Control. When someone is suffering from the symptoms of heat exhaustion, they should be moved to a cooler environment, given sips of water if they’re conscious, and have efforts taken to cool them down.

Heat stroke is the more severe of the two conditions and can potentially be deadly. In the event of a heat stroke, 911 should be called immediately and immediate efforts should be taken to cool the person until help arrives.

10. Take note of the common that produce uncommon concerns

Doctors from Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente shared their insight on the common acts people do that sometimes yield uncommon concerns. There are trade-offs in the way some people prepare for the heat, like wearing shoes and socks or a pair of sandals. With extreme heat, even something as simple as bringing a salad to potluck can leave people at an increased risk of food poisoning in certain conditions. Each seemingly common act presents their own unique risks to consider.