DOWNEY - The elderly, infants and children, and people with chronic ailments (e.g., high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.) have been identified as most prone to heat stress. Even normal, healthy people, however, if they don't take common sense precautions, may fall prey to heat-related problems (such as participating in strenuous, physical activity during hot weather).Luckily, Downey has only rarely if at all experienced really hot weather. Still, last week's stretch of 90 degree-plus temperatures served to remind us of the dangers of heat-related situations. Also, sometimes we have to take trips to other areas of Los Angeles and environs, and we may be confronted with extreme heat then. By universal consent, air conditioning is our number one protection against heat. Second is drinking plenty of liquids (water is good, alcoholic beverages not so). Third is wearing loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing (you can also throw in a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen when going out in the sun). These are the essentials in a list of reminders recently issued by Downey's Community Services Department, to help residents enjoy the summer (or what's left of it). Additionally, for a cool and relaxing alternative, the department points to two air-conditioned city facilities that double as daytime and evening cooling centers where residents at the same time can enjoy a variety of programs and services during their operational hours. They are: •Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center - 7810 Quill Drive, phone 562-904-7223 Hours: Monday & Friday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday: 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., (Closed Sundays) •Downey City Library - 11121 Brookshire Ave., Downey, phone 562-904-7360 Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., (Closed Sundays) Shopping malls are also good places to cool off, as are movie theaters, grocery stores, banks, etc., (wherever there is air conditioning). Community Services director Thad Phillips suggests the shady trees at Downey's parks can provide relief from the hot sun, especially when there's a "little breeze" blowing. The Downey Aquatic Center is another alternative, where Phillips says one can go swimming or just dip one's feet in the pool (it's open during the day till Aug. 20). He says its special Friday program, "Family Twilight Night at the Pool," affords the entire family a chance to enjoy activities such as pingpong, table games and contests on warm summer evenings (7-9 p.m.). Amidst all this, a reminder of the utmost importance is people should never leave children or pets unattended in their parked car even when temperatures are cool, as studies show that cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly even with the windows cracked open (up to almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes). Phillips says that there has been no known heat-related fatality in Downey as far as he can remember. Perhaps because people in Downey are really 'cool'?
********** Published: July 22, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 14