BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Health and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner last week announced the first reported heat-related death of the year in Maryland.
According to a news release, the death occurred in Anne Arundel County and was an adult female over the age of 65.
“This tragic event reminds us about the dangers associated with hot weather, which can raise the body’s temperature, increasing the potential for heat-related illnesses, heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Deputy Secretary for Public Health Fran Phillips said. “Marylanders are urged to take every precaution to avoid overheating and to stay hydrated — if necessary, move to a cooling center.”
The National Weather Service’s forecast for Kent County this weekend through next week shows for temperatures in the high 80s and low to mid-90s.
From May through September, the Maryland Department of Health monitors temperature conditions and incidents of heat-related illness and death, the release states. Weekly reports may be found 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.
Health officials encourages residents to use the following tips to help cope with hot weather.
Drink plenty of fluids and 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 short breaks if necessary.
Never leave children or pets in a car for any amount of time during hot weather, even with the windows cracked.
Check on elderly neighbors or relatives to ensure they have a cool place to stay.
Those in need of cooling centers are encouraged to reach out to their local health department, or call 211 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 Office of Preparedness and Response at preparedness.health.maryland.gov/Pages/resources_hot.aspx.