Summer officially began this week, and with temperatures in the 90s, health officials warn everyone to take extra precautions to prevent heat-related illness and death.



Summer officially began this week, and with temperatures in the 90s, health officials warn everyone to take extra precautions to prevent heat-related illness and death.
“High temperatures coupled with high humidity can cause health problems quickly and with little warning,” said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Summer Safety Week reminds us of the precautions we need to take to protect ourselves and others, especially those who are particularly vulnerable to the heat.”
The elderly, children, and chronically ill run the greatest risk of heat-related illness when the mercury in the thermometer rises.

Heat Safety Tips
-Check with a doctor to see if your medications make you more sensitive to hot temperatures.
-Do not leave infants and children unattended in hot environments. A car interior can reach oven-like temperatures in a few moments.
-Drink plenty of fluids and encourage children to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
-Wear sunscreen.
-Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
-Try to limit exercise and outdoor work time, and take plenty of breaks.
-Learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion: dizziness, muscle cramps, headache, heavy sweating, fatigue, nausea
-Learn what to do if you or someone you know suffers from heat exhaustion: rest in a cool area, loosen clothing, drink water, seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
-Learn the symptoms of heat stroke: high body temperature, lack of sweat, rapid pulse, pounding headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness
-Learn what to do if you or someone you know suffers from heat stroke: call for immediate medical help, move the victim to a cool area, avoid using fans, cool the victim with water from a shower, bathtub, or garden hose.
SOURCE: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Summer Safety & Lightning Awareness Week
 

Weather hazards from thunderstorms and lightning to extreme heat can affect those in summer outdoor activities.  

Lightning safety    
When you are outdoors enjoying the many recreational opportunities in the Ozarks, you should be especially alert for changing weather conditions and know what to do if thunder is heard or lightning is observed.
At any given moment, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress on Earth.  This amounts to 16 million storms a year!  
In the U.S., there are approximately 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year.  While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous.
Tragedies in school sponsored athletics are unfortunately a growing trend as well.  When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and officials must not let the desire to start or finish an athletic activity or event cloud their judgement when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy.
In Missouri, there have been 12 fatalities since 1998, with 2 in 2009.

UV Safety
Outdoor recreational opportunities to enjoy the Summer sun abound in the Ozarks region.  However, extended time in the sun can be harmful.  
Before heading to the lake, floating, or to the ball game, make sure to take proper precautions to protect your skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

SOURCE:NOAA