Summer is officially here, and triple-digit temperatures are expected to return this weekend, with highs of 105 degrees expected for Saturday and Sunday.
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The best way to keep cool is to stay inside. For those without access to air conditioning in their homes, or who live on a reduced income and cannot afford to run air conditioning, a number of cooling centers are available across Los Angeles County.
For information about cooling centers, call 2-1-1 or click here. All three Santa Clarita Public Libraries are designated cooling centers. If you are planning to visit a cooling center, call in advance to make sure there is still seating available.
Captain Mike Parker with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also suggested staying inside even to exercise. Take walks in the mall or other air conditioned building, instead of outside in the heat.
In extreme heat, it is important to be aware of all the risks and to follow tips provided by the Sheriff’s Department:
Schools and Sports Teams
Schools, day camps, and non-school related sports organizations or athletes should take extra precautions during extreme heat. Practices and other outdoor activities should be scheduled for very early or very late in the day in order to limit the amount of time spent in the sun and heat. Heat may worsen the effects of poor air quality in areas of heavy smog.
Ensure that cool drinking water is available, and drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often. Do not wait until to be thirsty. Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. Also avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.
Avoid unnecessary exertion, such as vigorous exercise during peak sun hours, if outside or in a non-air conditioned building.
Pay attention to signs of dehydration which 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 signs of heat-related illness may include diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, and/or fast and shallow breathing.
Coaches, teachers, and employers should seek immediate medical attention for those exhibiting signs of heat-related illness, even if they believe the person will be fine.
“Oftentimes people hesitate because they don’t want to be embarrassed, either the person making the call or the person not feeling well,” Parker said. “We’d rather people err on the side of caution and call 9-1-1.”
Older Adults and the Chronically Ill
Help family, friends, and neighbors with limited access to air conditioning and transportation. Check on them frequently or take them to a location with air conditioning.
Do not rely only on open windows or a fan as a primary way to stay cool. Use the air conditioner. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available for those with reduced income. Call 866-675-6623 or contact your utility provider for more information.
Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. Those on a special diet that limits liquids should check with their doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
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. Remember sunscreen and sun glasses.
Infants and Children
Cars act like greenhouses in hot weather and can be life-threatening to small children who are unable to free themselves if left in the car.
“Tragically there have been over 15 deaths in the United States just this year so far from people leaving small children and babies in their car,” Parker said.
It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
Infants and young children can get dehydrated very quickly. Make sure they are given plenty of cool water to drink.
Keep children indoors or shaded as much as possible.
Dress children in loose, lightweight, and light colored clothing.
Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows ‘cracked’ or open.
Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.
Do not leave pets outside in the sun.
Pets should not be left in a garage as garages can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation.
For more information about weather conditions and heat safety tips, visit the L.A. County Office of Emergency Management, here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News