Officials are alerting residents across Southern California to take precautions during the punishing heat wave that brought record-breaking temperatures Saturday.
Cities that set new records on the day included Burbank at 104, Camarillo at 88, Long Beach at 99, Fullerton at 101 and Pomona at 108.
Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures increase the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Officials warn seniors, children and those who are sensitive to heat to lookout for symptoms and take recommended safety precautions during high temperatures.
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Residents are also advised to take advantage of cooling centers near them (find a cooling center below). The majority of cooling centers are city facilities such as libraries, community centers and senior centers that are open during regular business hours, though hours may be extended in the event of extreme heat, officials said.
People planning to visit cooling centers are advised to call ahead to ensure that there is still room available. If a cooling center is closed, Los Angeles residents can find another one by calling 311, or 211 for LA County.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness. Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call for medical assistance. Move the person to a shady area and begin cooling their body with water.
Recommended precautions to prevent heat related illnesses include:
- Drink plenty of water; don't wait until you are thirsty.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay out of the sun if possible, and when in the sun wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and use sunscreen.
- Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in non-air conditioned buildings.
- If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area.
- Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles.
- Check on those who are at high risk to make sure they are staying cool - including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease, and young children.
- Stay cool indoors - if your home is not air conditioned, visit public facilities such as shopping malls and libraries to stay cool.
For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.