BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 65-year-old man who died recently in Baltimore County marks Maryland’s first heat-related death this year, the Maryland Department of Health said Wednesday.

Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary for public health with the Maryland Department of Health, said the man’s tragic death demonstrates the perils posed by heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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“Marylanders are urged to take precautions to avoid overheating and check on friends and neighbors that may be susceptible to heat-related illness, especially older adults and people with chronic disease,” Dr. Chan said.

The Department of Health’s advisory comes as Maryland has grappled with a recent heat wave that has pushed temperatures into the 90s. Combined with the humidity, temperatures felt like triple digits Tuesday.

The health department is reminding Marylanders not to leave children or pets in their cars for any length of time, even with the windows cracked, when the weather is hot. The agency also asking residents to check on neighbors and loved ones.

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It’s worth noting that anyone, no matter their age, can develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

But those most at risk include children under 5 and adults over the age of 65, as well as those with chronic conditions, people exercising or working outdoors, and those who take certain medications.

Here’s a list of tips from the health department to help manage hot weather:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water
  • Steer clear of alcohol, caffeine and sugar-heavy beverages
  • Dress in lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear sunblock and stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Avoid doing strenuous activity in the peak hours of the day
  • If working or working out, take frequent breaks to cool off

Anyone in need of a place to cool off is asked to contact their local health department. You can also dial 211 and get information about cooling center locations and hours by providing your county and ZIP code.

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To learn more about heat-related illness, visit the agency’s website.

CBS Baltimore Staff