Los Angeles County’s health officer Monday extended a cold weather alert for the Los Angeles County Mountain area due to low temperatures forecast through Thursday.
Dr. Muntu Davis said wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
“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,” Davis said. “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.”
To protect from the cold, the health department recommends:
— dressing in layers of warm clothing if you plan to be outdoors;
— protecting head, hands and feet from the cold by wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, and socks;
— checking on and helping family members, friends and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors or those who are ill.
— bringing pets indoors and not leaving them outside overnight; and
— taking shelter during peak cold times.
Those who don’t have a working heater at home should visit indoor public facilities such as shopping malls, libraries or senior centers.
People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia. Early symptoms 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, which results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. The most common affected areas are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes.
Never use stoves, barbecues and ovens to heat a room or home, as these appliances can produce a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide that can collect inside your home.
If you use an outdoor generator at home, place it at least 10 feet away from all doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea, and could lead to death within minutes.
Los Angeles County residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs may call 2-1-1 or visit www.211la.org for emergency preparedness information and other referral services 24 hours a day. For the deaf and hard of hearing, call the TDD line at 1-800-660-4026.