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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2008

Heat index causes Health Department to issue heat advisory

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department has issued a heat advisory after consultation with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo., resulted in a forecasted heat index of 96 degrees by 11 a.m. today at the Kansas City International Airport. Once the Health Department issues a heat advisory, it remains in effect for the rest of the summer.

To protect your health during times of extreme heat:

- Never leave children, pets or others alone in closed vehicles. The temperature inside a car can surpass 140 degrees and become fatal within minutes.
- Avoid too much sun exposure and postpone outdoor activities and games.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes, such as a taking a cool shower immediately after coming inside on a hot day.
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building every day for several hours.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce heat.
- If you have to work outside, take frequent breaks, rest in the shade and drink plenty of water.
- Dress for the weather by wearing loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. These clothes reflect heat and help 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.
- Check on your neighbors, friends and relatives — especially the elderly — at least twice a day (morning and night).

A heat warning will only be issued by the Health Department when the heat index is scheduled to reach 105 degrees at KCI airport by 11 a.m. A heat emergency will be issued when the heat index is scheduled to reach 105 degrees at KCI Airport by 11 a.m. for three consecutive days or the temperature is greater than 85 degrees at night or 130 degrees on any day. The criteria were established after analyzing heat illness and injury data from the 1980 heat wave, which caused 157 deaths.

For more information about heat-related illnesses, go to the CDC Web site at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp.

Media inquiries about this topic should be directed to the Health Department, (816) 840-2548 (pager).

    
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