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City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-1349

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 2, 2010

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 currently under investigation by the Jackson County Medical Examiner. As this is an on-going medical investigation, no additional information will be released on the deaths.

“With the heat expected to continue this week,” said Rex Archer MD, M.P.H., director of the Health Department, “residents need to check on neighbors, friends and relatives as heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented.”

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 can result in death.

    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.

For more information about heat-related illnesses, visit the CDC’s Web page about extreme heat: www.cdc.gov/Features/ExtremeHeat.

Heat information also can be found on the Health Department's Web page, www.kcmo.org/health. For general information on signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, call the City’s Action Center at 3-1-1 or 816-513-1313. For heat information and community resources, call the Health Department's community partner the United Way at 2-1-1 or 816-474-5112.

Media inquiries on this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, Health Department, 816-840-2548 (pager). Follow the Health Department on Facebook and Twitter, www.facebook.com/kcmohealthdept and www.twitter.com/kcmohealthdept.

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