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As summer approaches and temperatures reach the 90s, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is reminding the community of the dangers of heat illness for both people and pets.
Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related illness and can lead to dehydration. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting. A person with these symptoms should move to a cool spot, rest and drink cool water. If symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour, they should seek medical attention.
Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature climbs to or above 104°F. It can be deadly. Call 9-1-1 immediately if a person has symptoms including a high body temperature, red, hot or dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness.
To protect against heat-related illness:
Although the Health Department has not had any reports of heat-related illness so far this season, Animal Control has taken 15 reports of animals left in hot cars since June 1.
“We know families want to take their pets along while they run errands, but this could set them up for a bad situation. In as little as 10 minutes, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees quickly making a car a heat trap that puts your pet in danger of serious illness or even death,” said Andee Elmore, Environmental Health Administrator.
Follow these tips to keep animals safe in the heat:
In people, illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Children, senior adults and people with chronic illness are at highest risk.
For more information on staying safe in the heat and other summer-related topics, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/summer.
Media may contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at [email protected].