With another heat wave descending on the Southland, public health officials have issued alerts and warned residents to take precautions to avoid falling prey to heat-related illness.
According to the county Department of Public Health, the heat alert will be in effect Monday and Tuesday in the Pomona area and the Antelope, Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
It will be in effect Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles. Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county's interim health officer, noted that children, the elderly and pets can be particularly susceptible to heat- related illness.
He noted that even short periods of exertion in high heat can cause dehydration, cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. People without air conditioning who need a break from the heat can visit cooling centers -- such as malls, libraries and senior centers.
A full list of such centers is available online at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or by calling 2-1-1.
Health officials from various agencies offered a series of tips for people to avoid becoming ill from the heat, including:
- drink lots of cool water, even if you are not thirsty;
- wear loose, light-colored clothing;
- wear a hat and sunscreen; and
- avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
Authorities also encouraged residents to check regularly on neighbors who might be vulnerable to heat illness, including seniors who live alone, people with heart or lung disease and young children. Officials also strongly reminded residents to never leave children or pets unattended inside closed vehicles.