• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Experts: Monitor seniors, kids in hot weather

July 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The L.A. County Department of Public Health warns the public of the dangers of extreme heat that has hit the Southland.With temperatures reaching the high 90's on Thursday many locals were trying to escape the brutal heat. But for Marilyn Owens and her grandkids getting out of the heat became a challenge, the power went out at her home near MacArthur Park.

"We had to get out of the house because it was too hot in there," said Owens.

Without air conditioning it is miserable, but it is just as miserable outdoors. And there is no relief in sight. Triple digit heat is expected through the weekend.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health says it is going to feel even worse because of the humidity.

"We want to make sure that individuals who do not have access to air conditioning can get to some place that is air conditioned," said Dr. Alonzo Plough, L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Designated cooling places are keeping many elderly folks safe. Many do not have air conditioning at home and if they do they cannot afford to keep it on.

"Many of the seniors that we are serving here are very low income. They have a household income of about $800 dollars a month," said Rigo Saborio of St. Barnabas Senior Services. "In some cases they may not be able to afford a cooling system in their home or pay for any type of air conditioning."

The elderly are vulnerable to suffering health effects from the heat, but so are the very young. Sometimes parents miss the signs.

"If there is irritability, clammy skin, exhaustion and confusion then you really need to make sure that the child is hydrated," said Dr. Plough.

Health officials advise people to fuel up on water consistently throughout the day, wear light loose clothing and try to stay indoors.

But until the power is turned back on for Powers and her grandkids they are stuck outdoors.


Load Comments