Missouri to Observe Summer Safety Day

June 06, 2024

Missourians encouraged to prepare for extreme heat and humidity, take safety precautions during summer months

As summer weather arrives, Missourians are reminded to be aware of the dangers posed by extreme heat and humidity and take precautions as they spend more time outdoors.

"Extreme heat and humidity are dangerous seasonal hazards in Missouri that can place a lot of stress on the body, especially for more vulnerable groups like children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions," State Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Remillard said. "It's important for Missourians to learn about these risks in advance and know how to protect themselves to stay safe and healthy."

To help Missourians prepare, the state will observe Summer Safety Day on Wednesday, June 12. SEMA and the National Weather Service (NWS) encourage all Missourians to pay attention to local forecasts and plan accordingly when activities are outside. Humidity can amplify the feeling of heat measured by a heat index, so it is especially important to keep a close eye on friends and family and know the signs of heat-related illnesses.

Remember, never leave a child or pet alone in a vehicle. Even on a cooler day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise by 20 degrees in 10 minutes and pose a real threat to anyone left inside. Stress, distraction and being out of a normal routine can all contribute to forgetting a child in a car seat. Always "look before you lock" and check the back seat each time you exit your vehicle.

Remember these other safety tips to protect yourself and your family during the summer heat:

If the weather forecast calls for heat and humidity, limit outdoor exposure.

Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals.

If left outside, make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and access to shade.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head. Use at least SPF 30 sunscreen.

Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.

If you do not have air conditioning, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls or other community facilities.

Check on family, friends and neighbors who may not have air conditioning or spend much of their time alone.

Be aware of medications that may impair the body's response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers, and some medications for heart disease.