Baltimore County Now
Della J. Leister, RN
Deputy Health Officer
Baltimore County Department of Health
The meteorologists don’t know yet if we’ll break any temperature records this week, but we will all definitely break a sweat! When the heat index (combination of temperature and humidity) is as high as it is now, it is very important to take measures to ensure the health and safety of people and pets.
If you have an air conditioner, please turn it on. If not, seek shelter from the heat in a cool place where you will have access to water and a bathroom. Your local library branch or senior center is a great option. Or you can cool off while getting some exercise by walking through a mall or museum.
Without a cool place to retreat, extreme and prolonged high temperatures can be fatal for the very old and young. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, but annually too many die because they do not know or ignore these simple prevention tips:
- NEVER leave a child or pet in an unattended car!
- Check on elderly or chronically ill family members, friends and neighbors.
- Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Also provide your pet with plenty of water and a cool shelter.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages – these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Instead, learn how to make more than 50 non-alcoholic drinks, which can be found on the Department of Health’s website.
- Use sunscreen and reapply when spending time outdoors. Limit time outdoors when the temperatures and humidity are extremely high.
- Take cool showers or baths.
Don’t let your family, friends, neighbors or pets suffer in these hot temperatures. Please share these tips, make some non-alcoholic sips and have a safe summer.