(Salisbury, MD) Our area is experiencing a period of extreme heat as temperatures are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for the location and time of year. Health officials in Wicomico County are reminding residents to be careful, stay cool, and well hydrated.
Individuals can quickly develop a heat-related illness which can become life-threatening, if not properly treated. While the body normally cools itself by sweating, under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Infants, young children, young athletes, obese persons, those older than 65 years of age, and those persons with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or a mental illness are at high risk.
County health officials are offering these tips to help you stay healthy and comfortable in the heat:
Schedule outdoor activities before 10:00 am and after 6:00 pm;
Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing;
Drink plenty of cool fluids without sugar, caffeine or alcohol;
If outdoors, schedule frequent water breaks. In extreme heat or when exercising drink 2 – 4 glasses (16 – 32 oz.) each hour;
Avoid hot, spicy or heavy foods as they add heat to the body;
Limit using the stove or oven to keep the house cooler;
Take a cool shower or bath;
Seek air-conditioned environments such as malls and libraries;
Check on the elderly.
“Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death” says Lori Brewster, Health Officer for the health department. “If your home is not air-conditioned, go to any public facility such as the mall or library to seek relief.”
For more tips on how to stay cool, go to www.dhmh.state.md.us or http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/.