For Immediate Release
July 21, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Advises Kansans to Take Precautions for Heat-Related Illness

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is reminding Kansans to protect themselves in hot summer temperatures.

“KDHE advises the best defense against heat-related illness is prevention,” said Roderick Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy.”

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. The National Weather Service statistical data shows that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.

“When temperatures start to rise, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and others, especially those who are at greater risk of heat-related illness,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of KDHE's Division of Health. “If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who doesn’t have air-conditioning, now would be a good time to talk with them about getting into a cooler place.”

People who face the highest risk of heat-related illness include infants and young children up to four years of age, adults over age 65, people who have chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease or being overweight), those taking certain medications, and people who work or exercise in extreme heat.

Heat-related Illness

Heat-related illness is always of concern during hot weather, and may be characterized as heat stress, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Staying Cool

Follow these steps to minimize your risk of heat-related illness:

For more information on dealing with extreme summer heat, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp.