Monday, August 23, 2010

Heat Alert declared for San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys and Pomona/Lancaster

313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806 · Los Angeles, CA 90012 · (213) 240-8144 · media@ph.lacounty.gov

Temperatures this week will range from the high-90's in the LA Basin, to an average of 105 in Pomona/Lancaster and the San Fernando Valley.
Visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or call the LA County
Information Line at 2-1-1 for cooling center locations and hours.

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For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2010

Heat Alert: High temperatures predicted this week for the LA Basin, San
Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita Valleys, and Pomona/Lancaster
Air quality advisory also issued for Santa Clarita Valley today

LOS ANGELES - High temperatures are forecasted for today through
Thursday, August 26, for the LA Basin, San Fernando, San Gabriel and
Santa Clarita Valleys, and Pomona/Lancaster. 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 addition, for today, air quality is expected to be unhealthy for
sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley today, according to
the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

People living or working in the Santa Clarita Valley with heart
disease, asthma or other respiratory disease are advised to minimize
outdoor activities. Schools that have children with sensitive
conditions, including heart disease, asthma, other chronic respiratory
diseases, should not participate in PE or outdoor physical activity and
should stay indoors as much as possible.

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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