Tips For Avoiding Heat Illness

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Heat Illness

Prince George's County Health Department is encouraging residents to take preventive measures to prevent heat-related illness.

With temperatures expected in the nineties, combined with humidity levels over 50% residents are at risk of dangerous health conditions such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness that occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature and is unable to cool down. With the potential for body temperature to rise to105 degrees or higher, individuals may begin to exhibit symptoms such as red dry skin, disorientation, delirium, and nausea.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate replacement of fluid loss by sweating. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness or headaches.

Children, the elderly and those that suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness because they are unable to adjust to sudden changes in temperatures.

"We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable summer, by preventing heat related-illness" said Donald Shell, M.D M.A., Health Officer. "If possible, remain indoors and limit heavy exertion during the hottest period of the day between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm."

At Work

* Avoid the heat

* Reduce activity

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* Drink plenty of water

* Adjust schedule to start earlier if you work outdoors (if possible)

Outdoors

* Wear light colored clothing, a hat and sunscreen

* Drink plenty of water

* Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade

At Home

* Check on relatives and friends, especially the elderly

* Increase time spent in air-conditioned environments like libraries, malls, and movie theatres

* Eat smaller meals, more often

* Take cool bathes

* Make sure pets have access to water and shade

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