Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2006

Libraries offer respite from the heat

July 20, 2006

Johnson County Health Department, in cooperation with the Johnson County Library, encourages citizens who need a place to cool down during hot days to visit one of 13 library branches located in the county.
The network of library branches offers activities during the hottest part of the day. Learn more on the library Web site at www.jocolibrary.org.
Libraries offer many services in addition to a cool place to rest and restore. Patrons can read books, magazines and newspapers, or access the Internet.
Library hours vary by location. Patrons can call (913) 495-2400 to check hours of the nearest branch.
Dr. Leon Vinci, health director of the Johnson County Health Department gave this advice on avoiding heat problems: "The best defense is prevention."
Vinci recommends the following tips:
¢ Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of one's activity level. People should not wait until they're thirsty to drink. People should with doctors if they have specific restrictions related to fluid intake.
¢ Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If there is no air conditioning at home, go to a shopping mall or public library -- even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help one's body stay cooler when going back into the heat.
¢ Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or staying in an air-conditioned place is much better.
¢ Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some individuals are at greater risk. Check regularly on:
¢ Infants and young children
¢ People aged 65 or older
¢ People who have a mental illness
¢hose who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
¢ Try to limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
¢ Exercise in an air-conditioned environment and drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
¢ Try to rest often in shady areas.
¢ Protect oneself from the sun by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

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