The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health this week issued a "heat alert" for residents of the high desert -- namely Lancaster and the Antelope Valley, where high temperatures were expected to reach the triple digits through Saturday.
The department warned that people prone to heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps should be prepared and seek cool shelter.
"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 Public Health director Jonathan Fielding. "When temperatures are high, prolonged sun exposure may cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke."
Um. This shouldn't have to be said. Ever. But we'll allow it:
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"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," Fielding said.
The county has posted a list of "cooling centers" where old folks and others prone to heat-related illness can seek shelter. (People can also call 211 for information on the centers).
Again, more no-brainers from the county:
-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.