Los Angeles County Public Health Goes Door-to-Door to Encourage Residents to Stay Healthy and Safe in the Heat
LOS ANGELES – Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) deployed outreach teams of over 100 Public Health employees to go door-to-door in the City of San Fernando to provide residents with information on the risk of heat-related illness and how to protect themselves and their loved ones during high temperature (hot weather) days. Last year, the San Fernando Valley experienced 20 high heat events, where temperatures where above 100 degrees for one or more days and Public Health issued a heat advisory for residents.
Climate change is causing high temperature days to become more frequent and severe. Scientists predict that the Los Angeles region will experience two to four times more extremely hot days by mid-century.
“When temperatures rise, we encourage residents to take steps to stay safe and healthy, such as visiting cooling centers, checking on their neighbors, and watching for symptoms of heat-related illness,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Hot weather is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous, even deadly. If the body does not cool properly, there is potential for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
Precautions should be taken to avoid heat-related illness, especially by children who have sensitive conditions including heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, individuals who participate in outdoor activities, older adults, caretakers of infants and children, and those sensitive to the heat.
Public Health offers the following recommendations for staying healthy and safe in the heat:
- Beware of heat-related illness. Call 911 if you see these symptoms of heat stroke: high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin.
- Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows ‘cracked’ or open. Call 911 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
- Go to a cooling center if you do not have access to air conditioning in your home. Call 211 for the location of an air-conditioned place, park, or pool where you can go for free to stay cool.
- Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages. Fill a reusable bottle with water and bring it with you.
- Plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes. Bring a hat or umbrella with you when you’re outdoors.
- Check on those at risk, like the sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children.
For more information on heat safety, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/summer.