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LAFD Paramedics Stress Hot Weather Safety

Monday, July 31, 2017
LOS ANGELES
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With very hot weather predicted, the Los Angeles Fire Department suggests you take action now to:

• Minimize the risks of sun and hot weather.
• Prepare your household, pets and workplace.
• Get relief from and avoid the effects of heat.

Plan to wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing that covers as much of your skin as practical, and a well-ventilated hat with a wide brim - or carry an umbrella. Wear plenty of broad spectrum sunscreen and stay indoors or in shade whenever possible. Consider cool compresses, misting, a brief tepid shower or bath among your options to beat the heat.

Adjust your attire and activities to limit sun exposure, heat and exertion!

Water is normally the best drink during hot weather, and you'll need more than you think. For some, electrolyte-replacing sport drinks may be an option. Make certain those at greatest risk, including children, infants and the elderly stay hydrated. If you or a family member have a medical condition or are under a doctor's care, consult with a physician.

Plan on eating and serving light, healthy meals. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which make the heat's effect much worse. Steer clear of sugar-filled or excessively cold beverages, and only use salt tablets if directed by a doctor.

Key Rules: Drink plenty of water before you become thirsty and rest in the shade before you become tired!

Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when the sun's rays are strongest. Reschedule outdoor work and strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. If indoors, cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades or awnings.

If you feel ill, tell someone immediately. Symptoms of dehydration and heat illness may include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, nausea, muscle cramps, headache and vomiting. 

Many heat emergencies occur to people exercisingworking or staying alone. Use a buddy system and check on older adults, frail or at-risk neighbors at least twice a day. If you suspect someone is experiencing a medical emergency from extreme heat exposure, call 9-1-1.

If your home does not have air conditioning, visit a cool place during the hottest part of the day!

Schools, libraries, theaters, shopping malls and community facilities such as senior centers and parks can offer an air-conditioned refuge. When there is extreme hot weather, designated cooling centers may be opened in the County and City of Los Angeles. To determine their status and location, call 2-1-1.

Pets, horses, and livestock are also susceptible to hot weather. See that the special needs of your animals are met, including copious shade and plenty of cool water. 

Never leave children, pets or dependent adults alone in a hot car! 

Even with windows down, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can quickly rise to lethal levels.

Learn more about hot weather safety at: emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat

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