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City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-1349

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2011

Two suspected heat-related deaths in the Metro

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department has been notified of two suspected heat-related deaths in the metro that are currently under investigation by the Jackson County Medical Examiner. As this is an ongoing medical investigation, no additional information can be released.

“Although we may see some relief in the heat, we know that hot weather will return this summer,” said Dr. Rex Archer M.D., M.P.H., director of health. “Residents should take this time to prepare for the next round of hot weather and make plans on how to keep friends, neighbors and relatives safe.”

Ten things you can do to protect yourself in times of extreme heat.

1. Never leave children, pets or others alone in closed vehicles: within minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach over 140 degrees and this can kill within minutes.

2. If you have to work outside or in a non-air-conditioned workplace, take frequent breaks, rest in the shade or cooler environment, and drink plenty of water.

3. Check on your neighbors, friends and relatives at least twice a day (morning and night).

4. Avoid too much sunshine, and postpone outdoor activities and games.

5. Avoid extreme temperature changes, such as a taking a cool shower immediately after coming inside from hot temperatures.

6. Stay indoors as much as possible.

7. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building every day for several hours.

8. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, to reduce heat and save money.

9. Conserve electricity not needed to keep you cool.

10. Dress for the weather: wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing; lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and helps maintain normal body temperature. If you have to be outside, cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn. Protect your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.

As identifying and medical information cannot be released until the medical examiners have completed their investigation, revisions to the number of suspected heat-related deaths will be updated via the department’s Twitter and Facebook accounts at www.twitter.com/kcmohealthdept and www.facebook.com/kcmohealthdept.

For more information about heat-related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage about extreme heat at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ExtremeHeat/.

Heat information also can be found on the Health Department's webpage at www.kcmo.org/health. For general information on heat signs and symptoms, call the 3-1-1 Action Center at 311 or 816-513-1313.

For heat information and community resources, call the Health Department's community partner United Way 2-1-1, at 211 or 816-474-5112.

Media inquiries on this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, Health Department, 816-840-2548 (pager).

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