Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536
Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-6491
Maryland Department of Health Urges Residents to Follow Safety Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses
Baltimore, MD – With the start of summer June 20, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is reminding residents to follow safety tips and take precautions to avoid illnesses due to extreme heat. There are currently no heat-related deaths reported in the state. During the 2019 extreme heat season, Maryland had 21 heat-related deaths.
'As temperatures rise, Marylanders are at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Fran Phillips. “Protect yourself and your family by staying indoors or visiting a cooling center, and drinking water to stay hydrated.”
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 website. 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 residents to use 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
Residents should never leave children or pets in a car for any amount of time during hot weather, even with the windows cracked. Residents also are encouraged to check on elderly neighbors or relatives to ensure they have a cool place to stay.
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.
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.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.
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