The rising temperatures that Maryland has begun to see carry a number of risks for health crises. It’s important that residents know to prepare for how the heat can affect them and their loved ones.
 
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) offers Marylanders a tips sheet for preparing for and managing the heat. It discusses ways to stay cool, as well as explains some of the illnesses associated with the heat.  You also can find similar information on our page here.
 
Heat stroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heat stroke can be rapid; serious symptoms can occur within minutes. Treatment involves the rapid lowering of body temperature using a cool bath or wet towels. Keep victims of heat stroke in a cool area and immediately call 911.
 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat stroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. Those on a low-sodium diet or with other health problems should contact a doctor.
 
DHMH also has an extreme heat page with this downloadable listing of cooling centers found throughout the state. Again, if you or a loved one experiences a health emergency because of the heat (or for any other cause), dial 9-1-1.
 
Like DHMH does with cold weather-related incidents, the department posts weekly reports of illness related to the heat on our website. 
 
Every year, there are tragic incidents related to people leaving their young children or their pets in a hot car. NEVER leave pets or children in a car, even with the windows cracked. Sometimes, these incidents involve parents forgetting that their child is in a safety seat, when they leave their car. We’re reminding parents to remember to always pause to check those safety seats, to make sure they’re not forgetting their child. According to safekids.org, "young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult's."