County Officials Warn Residents About Heat-Related Dangers

Montgomery County officials are urging residents take precautions to protect themselves, children and pets against heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion with the increase in temperatures, according to a news release.

Officials are also urging residents to check on their elderly neighbors who may be isolated to be sure they are not showing signs of heat-related illnesses.

“Summer heat can be dangerous, especially for seniors and those with chronic illnesses,” Acting County Health Officer Uma Ahluwalia said.  “It is important for all of us to check on our friends, relatives and neighbors to make sure they are safe during extreme temperatures”.

Here are some tips on how to remain safe and comfortable during excessive heat days:

  • Stay indoors, whenever possible. Visit nearby air conditioned buildings in your community if your home is not air-conditioned. In addition to County facilities, residents can visit shopping malls, movie theaters and museums.
  • Be careful to avoid strenuous activities that can result in overexposure to the sun, such as sports and gardening. If you must do a strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning before 9 a.m.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration, cramps, exhaustion or heat stroke can result from not drinking enough fluids. Water is the safest liquid to drink.
  • Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • When outdoors, wear proper protection from the sun. Light-colored clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen protection are recommended.
  • Never leave pets or young children in a car for ANY amount of time, even with the window open, because the temperature inside parked cars can reach 130 degrees in only a few minutes.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include:
    • Infants and children up to four years of age;
    • Individuals 65 years of age and older;
    • Individuals who are ill or on certain medications; and
    • Individuals who are overweight.

To protect yourself from heat exposure,  look for the following signs:

  • Heat cramps: symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs;
  • Heat exhaustion: first signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness; and
  • Heat stroke: the most serious sign of overexposure. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness.
    Seek medical attention by calling 9-1-1

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