The Los Angeles County Health Officer is extending a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Take precautions to protect yourself from the cold:
Take shelter during peak cold times:
People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia. Symptoms vary depending on how long you are exposed to cold temperatures. Early symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and confusion and disorientation. Late symptoms of hypothermia include: no shivering, blue skin, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and breathing, and loss of consciousness.
People exposed to extremely cold weather conditions, such as places where it snows and where freezing occurs, may be at risk of frostbite. Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. The most common affected areas are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.
Gently warm the person and seek immediate medical care if you believe someone is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home:
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide could lead to death within minutes. Those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken outside, into fresh air, immediately, and should be taken to an emergency room for immediate medical treatment.
Los Angeles County residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs may also call 2-1-1 or visit www.211la.org for emergency preparedness information and other referral services 24 hours a day and seven days a week. For the deaf and hard of hearing, call the TDD line at 1-800-660-4026.