Staying Safe in the Heat
When it gets really hot in Prince George's County during the summer, The National Weather Service might warn us about the high heat and humidity. This can be risky for our health, especially when the temperature goes up to the 90s with humidity over 50%. Heat advisories may be issued, and that's when we need to be extra careful to avoid getting sick from the heat.
If the heat is too much, the County might open cooling stations. These are cool and safe places where everyone, including senior citizens, can go to escape the high temperatures. Dr. Mathew Levy, the Prince George's County Health Officer, recommends that seniors use these cooling centers, especially if they don't have air conditioning at home.
When it's too hot, anyone can get sick from the heat. Our bodies need to cool down properly; if they can't, we might face serious health issues like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Heat Stroke: This is the most severe heat-related illness. When the body can't control its temperature and goes above 105 degrees, it can lead to symptoms like red and dry skin, confusion, and nausea. It's very serious and needs quick attention.
Heat Exhaustion: This is a milder form of heat sickness that can happen after being in the heat for several days. Symptoms include muscle cramps, dizziness, weakness, and headaches.
Who's at Risk?
Kids, older adults, and people with heart or lung problems are more likely to get sick from the heat. Even when it's not super hot outside, cars can become dangerously hot very fast.
Tips for Safety
- Don't leave kids or pets in hot cars, even with cracked windows.
- If you work outside, be careful in the heat. Take breaks, drink water, and avoid heavy work between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- If you're outside, wear light clothes, a hat, and sunscreen.
- Take breaks in the shade and drink lots of water.
Help for Seniors
If you're a senior citizen or have family members who are, you can call the Prince George's County Department of Family Services Administration on Aging at 301-265-8450 for information and help.
Stay Cool and Safe
For more tips on staying safe in the heat, check out resources like "Tips to Beat the Heat" and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Let's take care of ourselves and each other when it's hot outside!