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Plan ahead for safety in Missouri and Kansas summer sun

Summer in both Missouri and Kansas can be not only uncomfortably hot but also potentially dangerous for vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with certain health conditions.

“Just take precautions,” Jayson Gosselin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service says. “Try to limit your outdoor activity if you do have to go outside. Make sure you bring and drink plenty of water. Wear white or light-colored clothing, things like that to protect yourself from the heat. Take frequent breaks in the shade. Again, try to be indoors as much as possible.”

Kansas is ranked the 6th for the maximum temperature in the summer while Missouri is the 13th.  Florida, Louisiana and Texas are ranked as the hottest states.

When outside, wear light-colored clothing.

“The difference between a white shirt and a black shirt, you can notice it,” Gosselin said “If you’re outside for 15 or 20 minutes and you had the white shirt on, you’ll probably not feel quite as hot. You put a black shirt on and come out half an hour later and spend that same time in the sun, it absorbs a lot of that heat. You can feel the difference.”

Keep an eye out for the heat index, especially if the weather calls for heat and humidity.

“The heat index is basically how it feels on the human body,” he said. “The higher humidity, the higher the heat index. The lower humidity values, the lower the heat index. Most of the time here in the summer, our heat index is usually a little bit above the temperature, but it varies. Even if it’s a really humid air mass, that heat index could be five, six, seven degrees above the air temperature.”

If you do not have air conditioning, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls or other community facilities.

Most of all, make it a summer that you’ll never forget, which includes not forgetting your child or pet in the car.

“Even temperatures in the 70s and 80s, the windows are up in a car, the temperatures in the car will soar 20 to 30 degrees or more above the air temperature outside,” Gosselin said. “So yes, that’s definitely unsafe to ever do that.”

Stress, distraction and being out of a normal routine all can contribute to forgetting a child or a pet in a car. Always look before you lock and check the back seat each time you exit your vehicle.

Contrary to media reports on “global warming,” 9 of the 10 hottest summers in Kansas City occurred as many as 80 prior to 1980 according to the National Weather Service. 1980 is regularly reported as when modern warming began.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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