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Kansas City-area health leaders weigh in on possible ripple effect of permanent Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ends
Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 23:21:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the U.S. House of Representatives looks at making Daylight Saving Time permanent, it’s not a universally accepted idea.

"I would prefer if they did away with Daylight Savings all together, rather than making it permanent," Dr. James O'Keefe, a cardiologist at the Saint Luke's Health System said.

Doctors say there are serious health concerns about the clocks changing twice per year.

"That's kind of like a mass population wide jet lag that’s surprisingly causing some increased heart attacks and strokes every time that happens," O'Keefe said.

There’s also data showing the real world impact of Daylight Saving Time.

The Current Biology journal published a study in 2020 that showed a 6% increase in fatal traffic accidents shortly after spring ahead.

More morning hours in the dark has local lawmaker's attention too.

Kansas City councilman Eric Bunch weighed in on the issue on a Twitter.

“And if we are going DST full time, schools need to start after 9 AM," Bunch said in the tweet. "Otherwise kids are going to be walking to school or waiting for buses in pitch black in the morning for three months of the year.”

The ripple effect would touch everyone, but doctors say there’s still one key routine to help.

"I like to say that the last train for a good night's sleep leaves about 10 o'clock at night and you're really better off even on the 9:30 train, but certainly not past 10:30," O'Keefe said.