County Health Department Urges Caution During Extreme Heat


Not mentioned by the Health Department: Never eat an egg fried on the sidewalk. - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/POCKAFWYE
  • Not mentioned by the Health Department: Never eat an egg fried on the sidewalk.

Normally, we would file this under No Shit Sherlock, but since the Daily RFT cares so much about you, gentle readers, we're going to pass along these tips we received from the St. Louis County Health Department. (Never mind that the heat wave started last week. We say better late than never.)

The Saint Louis County Health Department is strongly urging caution and common sense during periods of extreme heat this summer.

"Saint Louis experiences heat waves almost every year and it is important to observe common sense precautions whenever this happens," said Dr. Dolores Gunn, director of the Health Department.

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

  • Turn on the air conditioning to cool the air.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
  • More advice after the jump.

  • 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!

  • Operation Weather Survival, a public and private collaboration, manages a network of cooling centers around the region.People needing a cool place to go are urged to visit a one.To find a cooling center, call the United Way at 1-800-427-4626.

    Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise.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.

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