Heat and humidity can cause health problems with little or no warning, and with highs in the 90s and not much relief at night, Missourians are reminded to take precautions keeping them safe from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Department of Health spokeswoman Gina Terlizzi says cooling centers are located throughout the state. (Click on the map to go to the department’s interactive map online.)
Last year, 47 Missourians died from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and the Department of Health reminds folks that it’s not only the very young and very old who are affected.
Remember these basic tips to protect you and your family during severe heat 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.
· 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.
As the chart below indicates, heat related illness had the biggest impact on ages 45 to 75. A chart with yearly trends is at: