The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are promoting Missouri Summer Safety Week this (June 22-28) week to highlight the risks and dangers associated with excessive heat.
Summer Weather Safety Week is an opportunity to review safeguards to take during high temperatures, not only for ourselves but also for those who are vulnerable to the heat.
Excessive temperatures and humidity can cause health problems, particularly for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.
Missourians can find public cooling centers near them by visiting MO.gov and simply enter your zip code, city or county.
There were 14 heat-related deaths in Missouri reported by the Department of Health and Senior Services in 2013.
Here are a few basic tips to help protect you and your family during high temperatures and heat emergencies.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals.
- Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunscreen.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day; use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
- If you do not have air conditioning, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities.
- Be aware of medications that may impair the body’s response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers and some medications for heart disease.