Health Department reminds residents to be safe in the heat

| July 19, 2017
Rams Head
In Anne Arundel County, there have been two heat-related deaths since June 2017. Both cases were over 65 years of age, and the deaths occurred in houses without air conditioning.
“As the weather gets warmer, it is very important for county residents to take the precautions to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses,” said Acting Health Officer Frances Phillips, R.N., M.H.A. “It is also important to learn the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.”
Heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness, occurs when the body temperature increases to 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Symptoms may include confusion or altered mental state; a lack of sweat; nausea or vomiting; throbbing headache; rapid, weak or strong pulse; and possible loss of consciousness. Heat stroke requires prompt medical treatment; call 911 immediately.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat stroke. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness or fainting; muscle cramps; nausea or vomiting; cold, pale, clammy skin; a rapid, weak pulse; and heavy sweating. If someone has signs of heat exhaustion, immediately take the person to a cool place and provide water or a sports drink. If
symptoms persist, seek medical attention by calling 911 at once.
During excessive heat periods, all county residents are encouraged to do the following:
• Drink fluids. Water is the best fluid to drink.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can make dehydration worse.
• Limit outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on days when poor air quality is announced.
• Stay indoors and, if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air-conditioning, go to an air-conditioned public place. Excessive heat prompts the opening of cooling centers in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis. For updates about cooling centers, call the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management at 410-222-0600.
• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
• Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Prolonged periods of daily high temperature can become progressively more dangerous. Those at heightened risk are:
o Infants and young children
o People aged 65 or older
o People who have a mental illness
o Those who have chronic illnesses, such as heart disease or high
blood pressure, as certain medications can worsen the impact of
excessive heat.
• Check on elderly or disabled neighbors during periods of extreme heat. The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities may be used as a resource for non-emergent situations to provide access to safety for those in need. For assistance, call the Maryland Access Point Line, 410-222-4257, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
For more hot weather tips, visit www.aahealth.org/heat.
Severn Bank

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