Although the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health yesterday lifted a cold weather alert for the Antelope Valley, temperatures are expected to be very cold this weekend with officials urging residents to take precautions.

“Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, M.D., the county’s interim health officer. “Extra precaution should be taken to ensure that they don’t get too cold, when they are outside. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Health officials urge residents to protect themselves and others from the cold by dressing in layers of warm clothing; wearing a hat, scarves, gloves and socks to protect extremities. They should offer help to neighbors who may not have adequate heat, look in on the elderly or others who may be ill, and be sure to bring pets inside at night.

Seniors and other persons in need of a place to keep warm can visit a winter shelter. A list of locations is available online through the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority website at www.lahsa.org/wintershelterprogram, or by calling the 211 information line.