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St. Louis-area residents urged to use caution in extreme heat

5:15 PM, May 25, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis County, MO (KSDK) -- Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s this holiday weekend, so the St. Louis County Department of Health is urging people to be careful in the heat.

Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Health Department recommends the following:

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
• Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.
• Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
• Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.
• Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long - food spoils rapidly in the heat.
• Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly -especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.
• Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
• Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!

If a person is unable to keep his or her residence cool and needs to find a cooling center, call the United Way of Greater Saint Louis by dialing 211 from a landline phone, or by dialing 1-800-427-4626 from any other type of phone. Cooling sites will be available only if an Excessive Heat Advisory or an Excessive Heat Warning issued by the National Weather Service.

Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:

• Regularly check a pet's water to make sure it's clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions. Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area. You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.
• Provide a shady spot for pets. A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.
• Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.

For more information, please visit the department's Heat Safety Tips section. 

The Saint Louis County Department of Health is a member of Operation Weather Survival - a network of public and private organizations that collaborate, coordinate resources, and help educate the public to prevent illness, injury, and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather.

KSDK

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