Thursday turned out to be every bit as hot as predicted and in response it appears that most southeast Missourians did their level best to stay indoors as temperatures rose into the upper 90s, and even topped the century mark during the afternoon hours in some locations.
Even though today and Saturday will see a relative “cool down” from Thursday, the National Weather Service is still forecasting temps to reach the upper 80s with a gradual warming trend bringing highs in the 90s back into the picture throughout the coming week.
While the threat of another heat advisory should remain off the table for the next several days at least, the weather will remain unusually hot for mid-June. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips for preventing heat-related illness:
— Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
— Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar – these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
— Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
— Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
— Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
— Never leave a person or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.
— Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on infants and young children; people aged 65 or older; anyone who has a mental illness; and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
If you must be out in the heat:
— Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
— Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
— Try to rest often in shady areas.
— Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Note that the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com