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Caution stressed in extreme SoCal heat

June 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The heat is potentially lethal in Woodland Hills. The Woodland Hills temperature broke a record Wednesday, but it is not the hottest place in the Southland.A death was reported Thursday morning in the Inland Empire. A couple from Arizona was traveling in their car. At a stop, the 90-year-old husband wandered off, and his wife went to look for him. It was 116 degrees outside. She died, and her husband is now in the hospital being treated for severe sunburns.

West Hills resident Avonelle Rohe said she finished her errands early to minimize her dog's time in a hot car.

"Especially with children or little dogs -- or any dog. Oh my goodness, she would die in no time," Rohe said.

Allen Sheerin of Brea was arrested for animal cruelty. He left his Rottweiler in his car at 2 p.m. Wednesday. He told deputies he lost track of time while he was on the phone. When he returned to his car, his dog was dead.

The heat is unusual, as temperatures are 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. Meteorologists reported average temperatures in Los Angeles are 5 degrees higher than 100 years ago, and the number of days with extreme heat has increased. There were two per year in the early 1900s, now there are 24 per year.

The duration of the heat waves has extended as well, from a few days in a row to two weeks in a row.

That means it's especially important to stay healthy. Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control to avoid heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Use sunscreen
  • Limit outdoor activities to the morning and evening hours
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars
  • Check on those at high risk, including infants, children, and the elderly

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Miriam Hernandez, Rob Hayes, Leslie Miller and Leo Stallworth contributed to this report

 

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