The heat is on, with extreme heat warnings in effect for much of Southern California and above-normal temperatures on the Westside.
All residents should take precautions to reduce their risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are some specific tips to help beat the heat:
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before you become thirsty.
• Consume alcohol or caffeinated beverages in moderation because they can hasten dehydration.
• Curtail outdoor activities or schedule them early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when the weather tends to be cooler. When going outdoors, wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.
• If you want to exercise, do so in moderation and choose the “cooler” option. For example, work out at an air-conditioned gym rather than jogging outdoors.
• Avoid poorly ventilated buildings and places, if possible. Seniors should try to remain in air-conditioned buildings.
• Wear light-colored clothes made of lightweight, breathable fabrics, such as cotton and linen.
• Use fans to cool off warm households and cook with your microwave, instead of your stove or oven.
• NEVER leave children or pets locked inside cars, even for brief periods of time or with the windows partially rolled down!
Remember that seniors, young children and those with chronic health problems are the most susceptible to heat-related illnesses and require extra precautions.
Dr. Wally Ghurabi is medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. Information: 310. 319.4870.