BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As summer approaches it’s important to be aware of extreme heat that can overwhelm some of Baltimore’s more sensitive residents.

The Baltimore City Health Department announced Tuesday that Code Red season is underway for the summer and warned of dangers that come with being exposed to too much heat. Extreme heat can lead to illnesses like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and respiratory disease.

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“Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities and many thousands of illnesses nationwide each year,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “Heat is a silent killer, and is particularly dangerous to those who are young and elderly, and with chronic medical conditions. Residents must take all precautions to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of family and neighbors.”

Last summer, Baltimore City had five Code Red days without any connections to death.

When the city issues a Code Red, it means that the temperature has reached or is above 105 F and it could be dangerous to the elderly, children and those who work outdoors.

The staff from several city agencies, like the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, provides water and open cooling centers for people who don’t have air conditioned homes.

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If a city resident needs help on a Code Rad day, they simply call 311.

The Baltimore City Health Department urges people to stay in air-conditioned spaces, avoid caffeine, avoid alcohol, stay hydrated with water, keep pets and children in air-conditioned areas and minimize outside activity.

Some symptoms related to heat exhaustion and heat stroke are high body temperatures, slow and fast heart beats, nausea, feeling light headed, confusion and flushed skin.

If you have any of these signs, the first thing to do is seek medical attention and call 911. More information about what to do and where you can go during Code Red is on the Health Department’s website.

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