Your State Government: Keeping Cool in the Summer

Long gone are the cool spring days; summer is here and it is hot. With the heat comes the chance of heat-related illness, especially for those who are elderly, disabled or suffer from a health condition.

To help battle the oppressive heat, cooling centers have been set up to provide people in need a place to cool off. These centers have been opened in libraries, churches, and schools across the state and many are open all day. Click here to find a cooling center near you.
Ensuring that those who are vulnerable to the heat are safe is vital. The Missouri Department of Health warns that elderly people, infants, children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat-related illness or even death. So far this summer one person in Missouri has died as a result of the heat. Last year 52 people died as a result of the heat. Many heat victims do not have air conditioners or set them too high to provide adequate cooling.

Here are some tips to help protect yourself against heat-related illness:

*  Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

*  Consider spending the hottest part of the day in public buildings or at a cooling center.

* 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.
*  Drink Plenty of Fluids. Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.
*  Know the warning signs of heat related illness. They include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting and more. Click here for more on heat-related illnesses and their warning signs.
*  Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates.

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