More than 4,300 parents, grandparents and other relatives of children with severe heat-related illnesses have signed an online petition asking the California Department of Public Health to cancel the travel advisory issued by the agency after the agency issued its list of hot-weather hotspots in Southern California on Monday.
The letter was sent to the California Public Health Commission, which regulates the health department and is responsible for issuing travel advisories and other guidelines to travelers.
The petition, which was shared by a coalition of parents, caregivers and others, says the state has failed to explain why it did not immediately release the list to parents and other family members.
“I think it’s quite an irresponsible decision,” said one parent, who did not want to be identified because he or she feared retribution by law enforcement.
The petition asks the commission to reconsider its decision.
The Department of Health Services issued a list of five hot-spots, including one in Los Angeles, on Monday morning, in an attempt to encourage travelers to avoid the region and other hot spots and to help reduce air pollution.
The agency has been working on a list for more than a year, but it was not immediately clear how many families had signed the petition.
The advisory is one of the most important ways Californians can prepare for the hottest weather in decades.
Many families with children have also asked for the department to stop issuing the travel warnings, and a spokesman for the agency did not respond to questions about the petition or the decision.