Summer months bring fun, sun, and heat! Sometimes, the heat can become dangerous, especially for children, pets, people who work outside, and people with certain health conditions. Staying safe in high heat is important. Follow these simple tips to stay cool:
- Drink plenty of cool water! Stay hydrated.
- Wear loose, light-colored clothing that will keep you cool. Wear sunscreen and a hat for protection.
- Check on neighbors who might be vulnerable to the heat, especially those without air conditioning.
- Never leave children or pets in a car – not even for one minute. Temperatures inside a car can quickly skyrocket to deadly levels.
- If you work or play outside, take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool off in the shade.
- Don’t forget the pets! Keep pets indoors if possible. If kept outside, give them plenty of water and shade to rest in.
- Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention.
High heat can lead to severe health problems. If you experience the following conditions, seek medical attention immediately.
- Symptoms include muscular pains and spasms, usually in the stomach, arms or leg muscles.
- Heat cramps usually result 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 a lack of sweat, high body temperature (above 103ºF), 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, and spray body with water.
If you are showing signs of illness, please visit Coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing to sign up for a free COVID-19 test.
If you need to seek refuge from the heat, the City of LA will offer Cooling Centers. Centers are open and available during regular hours of operation unless otherwise noted. The City Department on Disability works to provide reasonable accommodation to ensure accessibility and effective communications for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs at cooling centers. You can call 3-1-1 from within LA City or use the links below to find out more about Cooling Center locations and hours of operation.
Information regarding City facilities is available:
- By calling 3-1-1
- By calling the Los Angeles Public Library Public Information Office at (213) 228-7555
- COVID-19 related questions and comments, please call 213-978-1028 or 311
L.A. County Facilities
Los Angeles County and neighboring cities also provide heat related information on their website. For more information, call LA County 2-1-1 or visit the LA County website for a listing of active cooling centers: https://ready.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Cooling-Center-List-6-8-2021.pdf