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How to Protect Against Heat-Related Illnesses

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Credit: Amber Carr

Through early June, 63 cases of heat-related illnesses had been reported by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. But as KSMU’s Amber Carr reports, many of those cases can be prevented.

 Ozarks humidity can be extreme during the summer seasons, causing various types of heat-related illnesses. According to webmd.com, when outdoor humidity is above 75 percent, the body’s ability to release heat decreases.

Ryan Hobart is a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in Jefferson City. He stresses that it doesn’t have to be exceedingly hot to experience a heat related illness and that it’s important to be aware of the available resources to help keep cool.

“I don’t think people always remember that there are different cooling centers around the state that they can go to and utilize if they are, you know, feeling like they’ve been out in the heat too long or feel like they might be getting over heated.”

Other basic tips for staying safe in high temperatures include: drinking plenty of water and replenishing fluids, avoiding caffeine and wearing dark, tight clothing, plus limited your exposure to the sun, and keeping children and pets out of hot vehicles.

“I think the best thing for people to remember is, you know, one, while they are taking care of themselves and they may work or live in an air-conditioned facility, I think they should make sure they check on friends, neighbors, relatives to make sure that in periods of very high heat, you know, where it’s really hot outside that those folks are being taken care of,” explained Hobart.

For information on the nearest cooling center click here 
For additional heat related tips click here

For KSMU News, I’m Amber Carr.