06/28/2013 01:57 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2013

Southern California Heat Wave Prompts Health Advisories, Cooling Station Openings (VIDEO)

Officials in LA are opening cooling centers and issuing advisories about the "record-setting" and "life-threatening" temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Click here for a map of over 89 cooling centers open across LA County or call 2-1-1 for information on cooling centers. The county also recommends going to shopping malls, parks and libraries to cool down.

They're also asking Angelenos to offer to help family, friends and neighbors with limited access to air conditioning and transportation, particularly the elderly and those who are ill.

Officials offered the following recommendations:

For everyone:
  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty. Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim, and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to protect yourself from sun damage. And remember sun screen and sun glasses.
For those who must work or exercise outdoors:
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.
  • Practices and other outdoor activities should be scheduled for very early or very late in the day in order to limit the amount of time spent in the sun and heat. Heat may worsen the affects of poor air quality in areas of heavy smog.
  • Pay attention to signs of dehydration which include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. Individuals with these symptoms should be moved to a cooler, shaded place, and given water or sport drinks.
  • More severe signs of heat-related illness may include diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, and/or fast and shallow breathing. Coaches, teachers, and employers should seek immediate medical attention for those exhibiting signs of heat-related illness.
For older adults, individuals with chronic medical conditions, infants, children:
  • It is illegal to leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle (California Vehicle Code Section 15620).
  • Do not rely only on open windows or a fan as a primary way to stay cool. Use the air conditioner. If you’re on reduced income, find out more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, by calling (866) 675-6623 or contacting your utility provider.
  • Older adults and those on certain medications may not exhibit signs of dehydration until several hours after dehydration sets in. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking cool water. If you’re on a special diet that limits liquids, check with your doctor for information on the amount of water to consume.
For pets:
  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows ‘cracked’ or open. Outdoor animals should be given plenty of shade and clean drinking water.

The heat wave is bringing triple-digit temperatures to the inland and mountain areas, according to the Weather Service. Highs in downtown LA may not drop below 90 degrees and, even along the coasts, temperatures are expected to be in the 80s.

In Death Valley, the sizzling heat could reach as high as 129 degrees, which is not far from the world record of 134 degrees on July 10, 1913.

The heat wave is "a huge one," National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said to the Associated Press. "We haven't seen one like this for several years, probably the mid- to late 2000s."

The high-pressure system covers most of the West and was centered over New Mexico but is moving westward, the AP reports. The system's pressure causes air to sink and warm, drawing down humidity.



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