O'Fallon Progress

Wanna get out of the heat, O’Fallon has the answer

Out and about shopping or talking a walk around town, and realize the heat is just too much to handle?

Or, is your air conditioner broken or not working properly? Or, maybe you are just need a cool place to sit for a bit?

Don’t worry, the City of O’Fallon is looking out for its residents and visitors by offering a cooling center at the O’Fallon Public Safety Building at 285 N. Seven Hills Road, across the street from the YMCA.

Also casually known as the O’Fallon Police and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) hub in O’Fallon, the facility is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and available for individuals to stay out of the heat, especially if they you have no where else to go or are in close proximity to and need to think quick.

“Residents without air conditioning in their homes are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to come by the Public Safety Building and cool their body temperatures,” Mayor Gary Graham said.

According to the American Red Cross, the body cools itself by letting heat escape through the skin and by evaporating perspiration. If the body is unable to cool itself properly, a person may suffer a heat-related illness.

Anyone can be susceptible, but the very young and the very old are at the highest risk.

Heat-related illnesses can become serious or even fatal if unattended.

You can avoid heat-related illnesses by practicing the following safety tips:

▪ Dress for the heat — Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.

▪ Drink water — Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

▪ Eat small meals and eat more often — avoid foods that are high in protein which increases metabolic heat.

▪ Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

▪ Slow down – Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning from 4-7 a.m.

▪ Stay indoors when possible — if air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Try to go to a public building with air conditioning each day for several hours. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.

▪ Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days. Take time out to find a cool place. If you recognize that you, or someone else, are showing the signals of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place.

For more information about the cooling station, please call the O’Fallon Public Safety Building at 624-4545.

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