Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Summer Survival Tips to Avoid Heat Related Illness

KSMU archives
Sun Glare Shines Through Tree / Photo Credit: Shannon Bowers

Heat related illness led to 25 deaths last year in Missouri, according to the state’s department of health. Officials are advising how to stay safe during Summer Weather Safety Week.

Stella Falconer, the quality nurse specialist for Mercy Springfield’s emergency room, says, “Typically we see between 40-50 people each summer, primarily heat exhaustion or milder symptoms. We do on occasion get heat stroke, the more severe, life threatening.”

The National Weather Service states the elderly, infants and young children, and those with chronic health problems are at a greater risk for heat related illness and death. Those who are overweight, use drugs or alcohol, and specific forms of medications may also be at risk.  

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services encourages staying hydrated, wearing appropriate attire while outdoors, and staying indoors during the hottest part of the day.

Falconer says, “The biggest thing is prevention and taking the time to get out of the heat if you feel those symptoms coming on. Take a break, sit in a cool spot, sit in the shade, drink some water, and then break up your activity and get back to work.”