High temperatures forecast
for parts of Los Angeles County; Air Quality Advisory
declared for sensitive individuals
are forecast for parts of Los Angeles County, including the San
Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita Valleys. According to the South Coast Air Quality
Management District (AQMD), air quality is unhealthy for sensitive
individuals in these high heat areas. The Los Angeles County Health Officer 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 to take care of
themselves, children, the elderly, and 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 vehicles,
even with the windows ‘cracked or opened’ because temperatures inside
can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. It is illegal, according to
California law, to leave children alone in a car.”
For a list of
information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, please visit the
Public Health website at
www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, or call
the LA County Information line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone
within the county.
Heat may worsen the affects of poor air quality in areas of heavy smog.
People living or working
in the Santa Clarita, East San Gabriel or San Fernando Valleys with
heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease 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.
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, light-colored clothing.
Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often (do not
wait until you are thirsty), and avoid drinking sweetened drinks,
caffeine, and 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
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,
light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect yourself
from sun damage. And remember sun screen and sun glasses.
Symptoms include muscular pains and spasms, usually in the stomach,
arms or leg muscles.
Usually results from heavy exertion, such as exercise.
Although heat cramps are the least severe of all heat-related
problems, they are usually the first signal that the body is having
trouble coping with hot temperatures. Heat cramps should be treated
immediately with rest, fluids and getting out of the heat.
Seek medical attention if pain is severe or nausea occurs.
Symptoms include heavy sweating, pale and clammy moist skin, extreme
weakness or fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, dizziness or confusion,
nausea or vomiting, fast and shallow breathing, or fainting.
First Aid: Heat exhaustion should be treated immediately with rest
in a cool area, sipping water or a sports drink, applying cool and wet
cloths and elevating the feet 12 inches.
If left untreated, victims may go into heat stroke.
Seek medical attention if the person does not respond to the above,
Symptoms include flushed, hot and dry skin (no sweating), highbody
temperature (above 103F), confusion or dizziness, unconsciousness,
throbbing headache, rapid, or strong pulse.
Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness and occurs when
a person’s temperature control system, which produces sweat, stops
working. Heat stroke may lead to brain damage and death.
First Aid: Call 911. Move victim to a cool shaded area. Fan the
body, spray body with water.
Precautions during extreme