Amid the current summer heat wave, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials offered the following safety tips to help beat the heat:
TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT:
- 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 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, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect yourself from sun damage. And remember sun screen and sun glasses.
BE AWARE OF HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES AND SYMPTOMS:
With extreme temperatures, one must also be aware of possible heat-related illness that require proper attention and treatment.
- Symptoms include muscular pains and spasms, usually in the stomach, arms or leg muscles.
- Usually results from heavy exertion, such as exercise, during extreme heat.
- 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, basic treatment.
- Symptoms include flushed, hot, moist skin or lack of sweat, high body temperature (above 103F), confusion or dizziness, possible 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.
For more summer-related tips, visit the Public Health website at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/summer.