For Immediate Release:
August 27, 2009
Heat Advisory: Stay Safe in Hot Weather
High temperatures predicted for portions of the county this weekend
LOS ANGELES – High temperatures are forecasted for this weekend throughout Los Angeles County, particularly affecting the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. Los Angeles County Health Officer and Public Health Director, Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, would like to remind everyone that precautions should be taken, especially by those people sensitive to the heat.
“While people don’t need to be told it’s hot outside, they do need to be reminded how to take care of themselves, children, the elderly, and their pets when the weather gets hotter,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “When temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
“Never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in closed vehicles, even with the windows ‘cracked,’ because temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels.”
In areas of poor air quality, heat may worse the effects of that poor air quality. If you plan to be outdoors, take precautions to protect yourself from the heat. Symptoms of dehydration and heat cramps include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. Individuals with these symptoms should be moved to a cooler, shaded place and given water or sport drinks. More severe symptoms such as diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, and/or fast and shallow breathing may indicate heat exhaustion or impending heat stroke and requires immediate medical attention.
Several tips for beating the heat include:
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
- Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often (do not wait until you are thirsty), and avoid drinking alcohol.
- Offer help to those in your neighborhood with limited access to air conditioning and transportation, such as seniors or those who are ill. Check on them frequently or take them to a location with air conditioning.
- During peak heat hours stay in an air-conditioned area. If you don’t have access to air conditioning in your home, visit public facilities such as shopping malls, parks, and libraries to stay cool.
- Avoid unnecessary exertion, such as vigorous exercise during peak sun hours, if you are outside or in a non-air conditioned building.
- Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect yourself from sun damage.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth.
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