Protect Yourself and Family During Current Heatwave

This second heat wave of the summer  is accompanied by monsoonal moisture out of Mexico, meaning it may feel even hotter than what the thermometer shows, will persist through the weekend. Forecasters warned that the weather brings the potential of heat-related illnesses, especially for the homeless, the elderly, infants, and anyone participating in outdoor activities.

Officials from the Los Angeles county Health Department were in the City of San Fernando last weekend, going door-to-door to advise residents with information on the risk of heat-related illness and how to protect themselves and their loved ones during high temperature (hot weather) days. The information will also include lists of nearby cooling centers and public pools.

Last year, the San Fernando Valley experienced 20 high heat events, where temperatures were above 100 degrees for one or more days and Public Health issued a heat advisory for residents.

The county Department of Public Health has provided safety tips to protect yourself and other family members from heat-related illnesses especially by children who have sensitive conditions including heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, individuals who participate in outdoor activities, older adults, caretakers of infants and children, and those who are heat-sensitive. Heat-related illness can take different forms, ranging from general fatigue to muscular cramping to life-threatening heat stroke.

Among the recommendations:

•Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages. Water is the best choice. It is important to drink fluids regardless of thirst, because you can become dehydrated without being thirsty.

•Stay in air-conditioning as much as possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to an air-conditioned place such as a cooling center, mall, movie theater, or library.

•Do not run fans in a room with the windows shut – you are only circulating hot air.

•Check regularly on elderly or home-bound friends and relatives.

•Eliminate strenuous activity such as running, biking and yard work when it is hot.

•Eat small meals and eat more often.

•If you must be outdoors, stay out of direct sunlight and seek shade; wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to create your own shade.

•Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that helps sweat evaporate.

•If you must be outdoors, use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 or higher.

•Ask your doctor if you are at particular risk because of a medical condition or current medication.

•Do not leave pets unattended in vehicles, even with windows “cracked” or open. And outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.

For a list of cooling centers and information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, please visit the Public Health website at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, or call 2-1-1. To locate the nearest cooling center, go to https://www.lacounty.gov/heat. Call your local cooling center for hours of operation.

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