Summer heat

From May through September, Maryland Department of Health monitors temperature conditions and incidents of heat-related illness and death. Marylanders should follow safety tips and take precautions to avoid illness due to extreme heat. Photo Credit: ClipArt.com

Baltimore— The Maryland Department of Health is alerting residents of rising temperatures forecast this week. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index will be in the 100s today and tomorrow. Marylanders should follow safety tips and take precautions to avoid illness due to extreme heat.

“Warmer temperatures are here and Marylanders can be at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, if they don’t take some precautions,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan. “Protect yourself and your family by staying indoors or visiting a cooling center, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. And be sure to check on friends and neighbors who may be susceptible to heat-related illness.”

From May through September, MDH monitors temperature conditions and incidents of heat-related illness and  death. Weekly reports are available online through the Office of Preparedness and Response Extreme Heat webpage. The site also includes the state Heat Emergency Plan, information about heat-related illnesses and tips for staying safe and healthy during hot weather. Fact sheets are available for download in English and eight other languages.

MDH encourages use of the following tips to help cope with hot weather:

●Drink plenty of fluids,

●Avoid alcohol, caffeine and overly sweetened beverages.

●Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.

●Avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen; stay in the shade when possible.

●Avoid salt tablets, unless advised by a doctor to take them.

●Take it easy outside; schedule physical activity in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and take breaks if necessary.

Individuals who are at higher risk for heat-related illness include those with chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure), older individuals, infants and young children and people who work outdoors.

Marylanders are advised to never leave children or pets in a car for any amount of time during hot weather, even with the windows cracked. Always check twice to ensure that children or pets are not in a vehicle— on an 80 degree day, within one-half hour, the temperature inside of the vehicle can climb to well over 100 degrees.

Residents in need of cooling centers are encouraged to reach out to their local health department or call 2-1-1 and provide their county location and ZIP code to get information about cooling center locations, hours of operation and available accommodations.

There is currently one heat-related death reported in the state for 2021. During the 2020 extreme heat season, Maryland had 16 heat-related deaths.

More resources about staying safe in hot weather are available from the MDH Office of Preparedness and Response at https://preparedness.health.maryland.gov/Pages/resources_hot.aspx.