Summer is here and it’s time for reunions, fairs, barbecues, picnics and other outdoor activities. But when the good old summertime arrives in St. Louis, extreme heat is usually not very far away. The City of St. Louis Department of Health wants residents to have a safe summer and is encouraging everyone, especially the elderly and those who exercise or work outdoors, to review their heat safety plans. Extreme heat can be life threatening and can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat-related illnesses occur when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded.
“When it gets hot the elderly are at a greater risk for heat
The Health Department is warning people who exercise outdoors during the summer that they are also at greater risk for heat
The best protection against extreme heat is staying in an air-conditioned building. Thermostats should be set to no warmer than 78°F, particularly when children or elderly are in the building
Fans create additional health risks during extreme heat. Therefore, fans should not be relied on as a primary cooling source. At high temperatures air from a fan actually increases the body’s heat stress by delivering heated air to the body faster than the body can get rid of the heat.
Written by Harold L. Bailey, Jr., Public Information Officer