St. Louis County sees first heat-related death this year, sets cooling sites

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The first heat-related death in Saint Louis County this season was confirmed by the county medical examiner Tuesday, in the middle of a heat wave.

An excessive heat advisory is in effect until tonight in the St. Louis region, with the temperature reaching dangerous levels of heat and humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

Extreme heat is expected to continue throughout the summer. When temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health recommends the following:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
  • Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.
  • Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
  • Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.
  • Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.
  • Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly –especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening.
  • If a person is unable to keep his or her residence cool and needs to find a cooling center, that person is urged to call the United Way of Greater Saint Louis by dialing 211 from his or her home landline phone, or by dialing 1-800-427-4626 from any other type of phone.

 

Residents are also urged to consider pets when temperatures rise. Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:

  • Regularly check a pet’s water to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions. Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area. You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.
  • Provide a shady spot for pets. A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.

The county and St. Louis city are offering cooling sites for the general public. The sites will have air-conditioned relief and cool water during the hottest part of the day. Sites will be activated if an excessive heat advisory or warning is issued by the National Weather Service. A heat advisory is issued when the heat index (HI) is expected to reach 105 degrees or air temperature reaches at least 100 degrees F. A heat warning is issued when HI is expected to reach at least 110 degrees for two consecutive days with a minimum HI no lower than 75 degrees at night or if a heat advisory is expected to last four or more days.

Cooling sites in south county include:

  • Grant’s View Branch St. Louis County Library, 9700 Musick Road, St. Louis 63123
  • Weber Road Branch St. Louis County Library, 4444 Weber Road, St. Louis 63123
  • Salvation Army Gateway Citadel Community Center – Union Road, 824 Union Road, St. Louis 63123
  • Feed My People, 171 Kingston Drive, St. Louis 63125
  • South County Health Center, 4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis 6312
  • Cliff Cave Branch St. Louis County Library, 5430 Telegraph Road, St. Louis 63129

Cooling sites near south county include:

  • St. Louis County Library – Oak Bend Branch, 842 South Holmes Avenue, St. Louis 63122
  • Kirkwood Public Library, 140 East Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis 63122
  • St. Louis County Library – Meramec Valley Branch – Fenton, 645 New Smizer Mill Road, Fenton 63026
  • St. Louis Public Library – Carondelet Branch, 6800 Michigan Avenue, St. Louis 63111
  • Webster Groves Municipal Library, 301 East Lockwood Avenue, St. Louis 63119
  • Webster Groves Older Adult Activity Center, 33 East Glendale Road, St. Louis 63119
  • Shrewsbury Senior Center, 7677 Watson Road, St. Louis 63119

For more information, please visit the health department’s Hot Weather Safety Tips page at:

www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HotWeatherSafetyTips