10 July 2023- With hot and humid conditions becoming more common across the state, the Maryland Department of Health is urging Marylanders to follow safety tips and take precautions to avoid illness during periods of extreme heat.
“We remind Marylanders to take precautions to avoid any heat-related illnesses this summer. This includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. On extremely hot days, stay indoors or visit a cooling center and drink plenty of water,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Nilesh Kalyanaraman. “Also, be sure to check on family, friends and neighbors who may be vulnerable to heat, especially infants, young children, older adults, and people with chronic disease.”
From May through September, the department monitors temperature conditions and incidents of heat-related illness and death.
More information is 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
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.
During the 2022 extreme heat season, Maryland had 5 heat-related deaths.