BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Health is urging Marylanders to take precautions and to follow safety tips to avoid illness related to the intense heat.

“Warmer temperatures are here and Marylanders can be at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, if they don’t take some precautions,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan. “Protect yourself and your family by staying indoors or visiting a cooling center, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. And be sure to check on friends and neighbors who may be susceptible to heat-related illness.”

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MDH encourages the use of the following tips to help cope with hot weather:

  •  Drink plenty of fluids.
  • 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 breaks if necessary.

Those suffering from chronic disease, older individuals, infants, and young children and people who work outdoors are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses. There is currently one heat-related death reported in Maryland for 2021. In 2020, there were 16 heat-related deaths.

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Marylanders are reminded to never leave children or pets in a car for any amount of time during hot weather — even if the windows are cracked.

Those in need of cooling centers can call 211 or reach out to their local health department.

More resources about staying safe in hot weather are available from the MDH Office of Preparedness and Response at https://preparedness.health.maryland.gov/Pages/resources_hot.aspx.

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CBS Baltimore Staff