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Advice On How To Keep Your Cool During Heat Wave

Brett Blume
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6/29/12-St. Louis city health director Pam Walker is worried about the cumulative effect of day after day of 100-degree heat in the forecast, especially on the sick and elderly. "These brick buildings heat up and people are going to suffer." (KMOX/Brett Blume)

6/29/12-St. Louis city health director Pam Walker is worried about the cumulative effect of day after day of 100-degree heat in the forecast, especially on the sick and elderly. “These brick buildings heat up and people are going to suffer.” (KMOX/Brett Blume)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  This just in — it’s really hot!

But for many St. Louisans this extreme heat is no laughing matter.

In fact, it can be downright deadly.

“This is going to be a long stretch,” St. Louis city health director Pam Walker pointed out. “The longer it gets, the hotter these brick buildings are going to get and the more people’s bodies are going to suffer from the heat.”

No reports of any heat-related injuries or deaths in the city yet this summer, but last year there were eight such fatalities in St. Louis.

<<Click here for more heat related articles>>

“Those were mostly seniors,” said Walker. “Some had air conditioners and didn’t have them turned on. Some didn’t have air conditioning. Please…just take a break from that house for a while. If you don’t have air conditioning go to the mall, go to the library, go to the senior center.”

She also repeated the call for people to check regularly on elderly neighbors or loved ones, just to make sure they’re doing okay as one 100-degree day follows another.

Other tips from the St. Louis Health Department:

*  Drink plenty of cool water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

*  Eat light and limit cooking to keep indoor temperatures lower

*  Bathe or shower frequently using cool water

*  Limit activity in the middle of the day when temperatures are hottest

*  Don’t forget outdoor pets, providing them shade and cool fresh water on a regular basis

“You get in the habit of putting your dog out in the morning and you think he’s got a pen and it’s in the shade,” said Walker. “By 1 o’clock though it’s in the sun!”

And one final plea that bears repeating anytime, Walker said, but especially on days like this when temperatures inside a parked vehicle can soar to 135-degrees in under than five minutes.

“Never, EVER, leave a child or a pet in the car,” she stressed. “Not even for a minute.”

More information on keeping cool this summer: www.stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/health/.

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