Greensfelder Park is One of Emergency Cooling Stations Deemed by St. Louis County
Executive Director Charlie Dooley urges residents to follow health department doctor tips, and enlisted Greensfelder Park in Wildwood as a new cooling center for West St. Louis County.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley authorized the St. Louis County Parks director to add three more cooling centers to help residents get some relief from the soaring temperatures.
St. Vincent Park, Greensfelder Park/Queeny Recreation Complex, and Kennedy Recreation Complex were added to the United Way’s database of area cooling centers.
Anyone unable to keep their residence cool and who needs to find a cooling center should call the United Way of Greater Saint Louis:
- Dial 211 from a landline phone, or
- Dial 1-800-427-4626 from any other type of phone.
Temperatures in the St. Louis area are expected to reach 100 degrees or more and stay that high over the next several days, prompting Dooley's action.
“I know there is an official National Weather Service process for issuing heat warnings and alerts, but even when temperatures are slightly below those thresholds I know there are people—particularly the elderly and many others with specific health issues—whose health will be jeopardized by this heat," Dooley said.
"Calling 211 will direct you to places to find some relief from the high temperatures.”
Dolores Gunn, director of the St. Louis County Department of Health, said whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Health Department recommends the following:
- Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.
- Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly–especially young children and the elderly.
- Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
- Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops.
- If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!
- Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
- Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.
- Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
The elderly are at higher risk as temperatures climb and need specific attention, according to Andrea Jackson-Jennings, director of the St. Louis County Department of Human Services.
“As people get older they are less able to adapt to high temperatures and as a result, the heat might exacerbate any medical conditions they have,” Jackson-Jennings said. “We have to check on them and be prepared to transport them to cooling centers when necessary.”
Help For Pets
Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise.
Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:
- Regularly check a pet’s water to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions.
- Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area.
- You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.
- Provide a shady spot for pets. A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.
- Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees quickly.
St. Louis County’s Department of Health is a member of Operation Weather Survival—a network of public and private organizations that collaborate, coordinate resources, and help educate the public to prevent illness, injury, and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather.