The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an excessive heat watch for Butte County starting (today) Friday, lasting through Wednesday, June 21st. Daytime temperatures are expected reach between 101-106°. The Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is advising residents to prepare for high heat this summer by staying cool, hydrated and informed.

If you are exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long you sweat heavily, and if you don't drink enough fluids, your body’s cooling system may fail. The result may be a heat-related illness, such as: heat stroke, heat exhaustion or heat cramps. People at increased risk include: young children, older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, people with disabilities, those who work outside, the homeless, and people who are socially isolated.

Symptoms of heat-related illness may include: confusion, heavy sweating, weakness, headache, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, nausea or increased body temperature. If you or someone you know is suffering from heat-related illness, immediately move the affected person to a cooler location and attempt to reduce body temperature by loosening clothes, applying a cold compress and drinking water.

Take precaution to avoid heat-related illness:

· Limit exercise and strenuous work during the hottest part of the day

· Stay indoors where air conditioning is available (pets included)

· Stay hydrated by drinking 2-4 glasses of cool, non-alcoholic/non-caffeinated fluids every hour

· Drink fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty

· Rest often in shady areas

· Reschedule outdoor activities

· Protect yourself from the sun by wearing loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen

· Never leave children or pets unattended in a parked car – look before you lock

· Take short, cool showers during the day to cool off

Pets are also at risk for heat-related illness. Protect your pets from extreme heat by providing ample shade and water, limiting exercise, and never leaving your pet in a parked car. Watch for signs of heat stroke, including: heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lack of coordination, vomiting, lethargy, and profuse salivation.