Triple-Digit-Threat To Health With Soaring Temperatures
It’s not just sunny outside, it’s hot.
Not just warm, but hot. Three-digit temperature hot, frying an egg on the sidewalk hot, wishing you’d put the towel on the car seat hot.
Guess summer has finally arrived.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a high temperature warning to remind us to take care of ourselves and each other while the temperatures soar.
With temps over 100 in the forecast for the next couple of days in the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope Valleys, there are things we can do to make the atmosphere tolerable, if not enjoyable.
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"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, 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.