Happy Fourth of July! Please be safe, it’s hot outside.

The summer months are a great time to enjoy the outdoors.  However, they also can mean days of sweltering heat.  Today is a testament to that.   Today the thermometer reads nearly 100 degrees (again).

While everyone should take care to protect themselves from the heat, seniors should take extra precaution.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

According to the CDC, the following are signs of heat exhaustion: muscle cramps, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, pulse rate that is fast and weak, and rapid and shallow breathing. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening illness.  Signs of heat stroke include a high body temperature, red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Older adults can prevent these heat-related illnesses by drinking plenty of water, avoiding consuming alcoholic beverages, and staying in the air conditioning.  Family members, friends, and care-givers should check in with seniors regularly to check for signs of heat-related illnesses.

Each summer, KOMU TV8 partners with the Voluntary Action Center and the United Way of Mid Missouri to distribute fans to help people beat the heat.  For information about donating a fan to this program, visit KOMU’s Fan Club website.

If you are in need of a fan, please contact relevant agency below:

Voluntary Action Center (Boone County) – 573-874-2273
United Way of Central Missouri (Cole, Miller, Monteau, Osage, and parts of Boone and Callaway Counties) – 573-636-4100
Serve, Inc. (Callaway County) – 573-642-6388

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