How to Stay Cool During Hot Weather

By August 27, 2015LACoFD News
Sun setting over mountains

Beat the heat! The Los Angeles County Fire Department reminds residents across the county to stay cool during hot weather.

Children, the elderly and pets are most at risk for heat illness. Fortunately, residents can make simple changes to their daily routine to defend themselves against heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, according to Fire Department Public Information Officer and Fire Captain Keith Mora.

Here are a few tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Drink 2 – 4 glasses of water each hour during times of extreme heat.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen: Lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing will help keep you cool, but make sure to apply sunscreen, too. Sunburns affect the body’s ability to cool itself. Hats and sunglasses will also help protect against sun damage.
  • Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest times of the day. These areas can be shopping malls or cooling centers. 
  • Schedule outdoor activities outside of peak hours: If you have to be outside, plan activities before noon or in the evening.
  • Keep an eye on those at high risk: Young children and the elderly are at the highest risk of heat-related illnesses. People who overexert themselves during work or exercise are also at risk.
  • Keep pets indoors: If possible, bring all pets indoors. If they can’t be brought inside, give them plenty of water and a shaded area so they can stay cool.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be life-threatening, so it is important to be aware of their warning signs. Heat stroke is signaled by an extremely high body temperature (103 degrees), unconsciousness, dizziness, nausea, confusion and others. Heat exhaustion is signaled by heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headaches, paleness and tiredness, among other symptoms.

“If you see anyone with these signs, call 911 and get the victim into a shady area, or immerse the victim in a tub of cool water, place in a cool shower or spray with cool water from a garden hose to try to drop the body temperature until firefighters arrive,” Mora said.