Excessive heat warning brings concerns over impact on heat related illnesses

Hot weather can also be punishing on your vehicle.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The excessive heat and humidity bring increased concerns for heat related illnesses.

It can be hard on your body and your vehicle.

Springfield is under an excessive heat warning and Mercy paramedic Cesar Jaramillo says that raises concerns for people walking to work or activities on the sidewalks during this heat.

”There’s not going to be as much green area on the sidewalk so bring some hydration with you,” Jaramillo says. “Try to walk in the shade. Try to use the awnings as possible and if necessary, go into places with air conditioner to take a break.”

Jaramillo says crews are already reporting to a lot of heat related illnesses, especially among the homeless and elderly.

That’s why Jaramillo recommends only spending about 10-15 minutes outside at a time.

“You know yourself better than anybody else,” Jaramillo says. “You know when you’re getting exhausted. If you’re feeling thirsty, please stay hydrated and in the shade.”

Jaramillo says our bodies will adjust to the temperature when we’re outside, meaning it may be hard to recognize when you’ve been out there for too long.

Keep an eye on your sweat. Jaramillo says if you stop sweating that can be concerning.

Dizziness, changes in attitude and not making sense can all be signs of heat exhaustion.

Jaramillo says staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial.

“Especially if you drink caffeine, coffee or tea,” Jaramillo says. “Or if you drink alcohol. Anything that can dehydrate you and you’re not paying attention. Pay attention to your thirst. If you’re thirsty your body is telling you that your temperature is going up.”

However, it’s not just people impacted by the heat.

Rick’s Automotive fleet adviser Micah Blake says your car battery can overheat and cause some major problems.

“It will have like a sulfur smell like a rotten egg and that’s an indicator you may have a battery starting to get super super hot and we’ve actually seen them catch on fire before,” Blake says.

Blake says the best way to prevent that from happening is to have your battery tested every time you get an oil change.

Blake also recommends having your belts and hoses looked at because all of that is made of rubber and can be damaged by the heat and high UV index.

When it comes to your AC unit in your car: “If you don’t have enough refrigerant in your AC system, it can cause the system to actually freeze and then your cool air coming through the vents will diminish and you’ll think there’s some big problem when it may just be that it’s a little bit low on refrigerants,” Blake says.

When you’re driving on these hot days, experts suggest keeping your phone fully charged, bringing water bottles with you and a cooler filled with ice and cold compresses.

That way if something happens you aren’t stuck in the heat without any ways to cool off.

There are also several options if you need to escape the heat.

You can go into Greene County library branches or park board family centers during normal hours.

You can also head to the Jordan Valley Ice Park downtown.

The Salvation Army’s cooling center will be open each weekday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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