To say it has been hot lately would be an understatement. Southeast Missouri, along with much of the country, has seen in recent weeks oppressively hot weather.
While many of us are fortunate to be able to stay inside in the air-conditioning, not everyone is. If you are one of those folks, take extra precaution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a comprehensive list of how to protect yourself from the heat. Here are a few of the tips:
* Stay hydrated, especially if exercising in the heat. However, avoid alcoholic beverages or those with a lot of sugar, which can cause body fluid loss.
* Wear lightweight, light-colored and loosefitting clothing. You can also protect yourself from the sun -- and stay cooler -- by wearing sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
* Limit your outside activity to morning and evening hours, rest in shady areas and pace yourself.
* Check on those who may be at high risk for heat-related illness, such as infants, children and older adults. Also, those who are overweight, overexert themselves or are physically ill may be affected more by the heat.
* Do not leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if you leave the windows partially open.
* Make sure your pets have plenty of fresh water, and keep that water in a shady area.
While several cooling centers in the area have been open over the past week, there are still those in their homes who need fans and window air conditioning units. Those who would like to donate can do so at the Salvation Army, 701 Good Hope St. in Cape Girardeau.
Summer is a fun time of year, but it can also be a dangerous time of year if proper precautions are not taken.