June 20, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Take Steps to Avoid Heat Illness

Summer officially begins today and when the temperature and humidity rise, so does the potential for heat-related illnesses such as heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Conditions such as age, obesity, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can increase the risk for heat-related illness.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department tracks the number of various heat-related illnesses each year. These illnesses are entirely preventable, yet many occur every summer. Since the department began tracking reports from hospitals and doctors' offices on June 1, there have been 14 instances of heat-related illness in Greene County, including three hospitalizations, and ranging in age from 8 to 86.

During periods of extreme heat when the National Weather Service has issued heat warnings or advisories, the health department will provide information about local cooling centers if they open.

Below are some tips to help you stay healthy in the extreme heat. More information about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, tips for pets, and useful links can be found online at health.springfieldmo.gov/heat.

Basic Tips to Beat the Heat

For more information, contact: Mike Brothers, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-1205; or Karen McInnis, Environmental & Community Health Planner, (417) 864-1623.

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov