L.A. County Dep. of Health issues heat alert for the Santa Clarita Valley

Sunset. Photo courtesy of John Ragsdale

The Santa Clarita Valley is one of multiple locations under a heat alert issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The heat alert is issued for Tuesday for Santa Clarita, but will be in effect through Wednesday in the Pomona area and the San Fernando Valley.

In staying safe through the heat, residents should take precautions before going outside. This includes older adults, residents with chronic respiratory diseases, caretakers of infants and children, and those sensitive to heat.

“While it is very important that everyone take special care of themselves, it is equally important that we reach out and check on others, in particular those who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of extreme heat, including children, the elderly, and their pets,” said L.A. County Health Officer Muntu Davis. “Extreme heat such as this is not just an inconvenience. It can be dangerous and even deadly, but we can protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors if we take steps to remain cool and hydrated.”

In preparation for the heat, here are some tips on how to stay safe and beat the heat.

For people working outdoors or exercising:

  • Make sure cool water is available to drink
  • Drink water or sports drinks that will replace electrolytes.
  • Do not drink sweetened drinks, caffeine or alcohol.
  • Drinking extremely cold water will likely cause cramps.
  • Athletes and those working outdoors must take frequent rests.
  • Signs of dehydration include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps and increased thirst; anyone with these symptoms should be moved to a cool, shaded area and given water or a sports drink.
  • Coaches, teachers, and employers should seek immediate medical attention for those exhibiting signs of heat-related illness.
  • Avoid unnecessary exertion during peak sun hours while outside.
  • Older adults and residents with chronic respiratory diseases need to stay in air-conditioned buildings or public facilities such as cooling centers and libraries. If on a reduced income, check out the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by calling (866) 675-6623 or contacting your utility provider.
  • Also, continue to stay hydrated before dehydration sets in after taking medication. If outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose-fitting clothes with light colors and long sleeves with pants to stay protected against the sun, along with sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Children are to stay indoors and continue staying hydrated throughout the day. Keep them in loose-fitting clothes that are lightweight and light colored. It is illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

Pets must also not be left in a vehicle, even with the windows “cracked” open. Give them plenty of shade and cool water to drink. Do not leave pets outside in the direct sun or in a garage due to the heat and lack of ventilation for them to breath.

Heat-related illnesses to watch out for include heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion. For any emergency preparedness information, L.A. County residents and business owners are to call 2-1-1, available 24 hours every day.

For the location of a cooling center near you, go to lacounty.gov/heat.

Though projected for those days, the alert could be extended if conditions do not improve.

The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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