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City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-1349


City urges safe behavior over holiday weekend

As residents and visitors prepare for the holiday weekend, the City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department reminds the public of steps they can take to protect themselves and those around them from a variety of health concerns.

“Due to the wet weather this winter and spring, we are likely to see more ticks and mosquitoes,” said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Health Department. “We want everyone to have an enjoyable holiday weekend, but that means taking steps to protect yourself from illnesses carried by those common pests as well as being safe in the sun and water.”

Remember the following tips when planning your weekend:

    • Use effective insect repellant with at least 20 percent DEET or picaridin on skin and clothing, and wear protective clothing when appropriate.

    • Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, and avoid areas of tall standing grass where ticks may cling, waiting for a host.

    • Check for ticks after spending time outside in grassy areas. If you find a tick, remove it. If it is already embedded, use tweezers to remove it, making sure that you do not squeeze the tick’s body or leave the head behind.

    • Make sure all screens fit tightly over doors and windows and are in good repair.

    • Wear sunscreen when outside, even if it’s cloudy.

    • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and take regular breaks to rest in the shade. Remember, alcohol and caffeine actually dehydrate you.

    • Do not allow children or inexperienced swimmers to play in pools unattended.

    • If you or your child have had diarrhea within the last two weeks, stay out of the pool and other recreational water. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.

    • Avoid getting water in your mouth while swimming. If you do, be careful not to swallow it.

    • Shower both before and after swimming, and wash your hands and the child after changing diapers.

    • Take children for regular bathroom breaks and change diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late. Change diapers in the bathroom and not at poolside.

“Pools, parks and other recreational venues provide a great opportunity for people to both increase physical activity and enjoy the holiday,” said Archer. “By following these tips, you can make your holiday safe.”

For more health safety tips, visit the Health Department Web site,

Media inquiries about this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, public information officer for the Health Department, 816-840-2548 (pager).

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