SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A heat advisory is in effect for Springfield and the surrounding areas until Friday, July 8. In response to this extreme heat wave, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board is opening up its pools later to help people cool off.

Here are this week’s adjusted hours:

  • July 5 | Fassnight pool open 1:00-8:00 p.m.
  • July 6 | Silver Springs pool open 1:00-8:00 p.m.
  • July 7 | Fassnight pool open 1:00-8:00 p.m.

You can find more information about pools and other park facilities on the Springfield-Greene County Park Board’s website.

Also this week, the lobbies of several park facilities are also open as cooling centers during their hours of operation.

  • Jordan Valley Ice Park, 635 E. Trafficway 
  • Chesterfield Family Center, 2511 W. Republic Rd.
  • Dan Kinney Family Center, 2701 S. Blackman Rd.
  • Doling Family Center, 310 E. Talmage St. 

Springfield-Greene County Libraries are not official cooling centers but are an option for people who need to stay out of the heat. Libraries are closed on July 4.

Springfield-Greene County Health shared safety information this summer, pointing out that heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related illness people experience. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting. Someone with these symptoms needs to go to a cool spot, rest and drink water.

Heat stroke can be more serious. It happens when the body’s temperature climbs to or above 104 degrees. If this happens and someone has red, hot or dry skin, a rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or is unconscious, that person or those around them should call 911 immediately.

To protect against heat-related illness, the health department offered this advice:

  • Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty; avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine. Also, avoid very cold drinks because they can cause stomach cramps. 
  • Avoid strenuous work or exercise outside during the hottest part of the day. If that is not practical, take frequent breaks and remember to drink plenty of water. 
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. 
  • Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels). 
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. 

Another time you should call 911, according to the Health Department, is if you see anyone or a pet unresponsive in a closed, parked car.

Some ways you can make sure your pet stays safe during hot weather:

  • Do not leave a pet unattended in a hot car.
  • Always make sure pets have access to cool, clean, fresh water as well as adequate food and shelter.
  • Walk your dog in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. If you must walk mid-day, shorten the distance. And keep your dog in the grass as much as possible, as hot sidewalks can burn the pads of their feet.
  • Do not leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the summer can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke. 

A few other things to think about during this hot weather streak: Ameren Ameren Energy which serves Central and Western Missouri has shared ways to keep your home cooler and save money on utility bills. When using the air conditioner in your car, there’s an overlooked feature that can help you stay cool and save money on gas. Finally, there’s a certain way your ceiling fan should be rotating in the summer to keep you cool.