Archive for Monday, June 22, 2009

Heat prompts health officials to issue precautions

The electronic sign at the First State Bank & Trust, 400 Bury St., shows an air temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit on July 21, 2008.

The electronic sign at the First State Bank & Trust, 400 Bury St., shows an air temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit on July 21, 2008.

June 22, 2009

An excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service has area health departments urging residents to take health precautions.

“We have had a mild summer so far and residents may have not have had time to become accustomed to the heat,” said Donna Martin, administrator of the Leavenworth County Health Department. “We ask residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and to check on their neighbors.”

Actions you can take to protect your health during times of extreme heat:

• Never leave children, pets or others alone in closed vehicles. The temperature inside a car can surpass 140 degrees and become fatal within minutes.

• Avoid too much sun exposure and postpone outdoor activities and games.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes, such as a taking a cool shower immediately after coming inside on a hot day.

• Stay indoors as much as possible.

• If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building every day for several hours.

• Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce heat.

• If you have to work outside, take frequent breaks, rest in the shade and drink plenty of water.

• Dress for the weather by wearing loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. These clothes reflect heat and help maintain normal body temperature. If you have to be outside, cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn. Protect your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.

• Check on your neighbors, friends and relatives — especially the elderly — at least twice a day (morning and night).

The Johnson County Health Department, in cooperation with the Johnson County Library, is encouraging residents who need a place to cool down during hot days to visit one of 13 library branches. The libraries are available during normal business hours.

For information about other cooling centers, call the United Way at 2-1-1. For more information about heat-related illnesses, go to the CDC Web site, cdc.gov or contact the Johnson County Health Department, (913) 477-8364, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, (913) 573-6708, or the Leavenworth County Health Department, (913) 250-2040.

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