Stay cau­tious in scorch­ing heat

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This past week­end’s heat was bru­tal, with some ar­eas in Charles County reach­ing tem­per­a­tures in the up­per 90s (and, with the hu­mid­ity, feel­ing far worse than that). Although fore­cast­ers now call for a bit more rain, this week’s tem­per­a­tures aren’t much bet­ter.

We hope most peo­ple are able to stay in­doors as of­ten as pos­si­ble, yet we un­der­stand some make their liv­ing out­side, ex­posed to the el­e­ments. If you must be outdoors, here are some tips:

• Stay out of the sun and wear light­weight, light-col­ored cloth­ing.

• Drink plenty of flu­ids, but wa­ter is best. Avoid beverages that con­tain alcohol, caf­feine or large amounts of su­gar, as th­ese can leave you de­hy­drated.

• Check on el­derly rel­a­tives and neigh­bors. Heat can af­fect any­one, but most at risk are the el­derly, along with those with un­der­ly­ing health prob­lems and the very young. • And speak­ing of the very young, never leave chil­dren — or pets — in parked cars. Tem­per­a­tures can rise to 130 de­grees inside ve­hi­cles in only a few min­utes, even with the win­dows rolled down. It’s a ter­ri­fy­ing, tragic sce­nario that’s even hap­pened right here in South­ern Mary­land: Mom or Dad gets caught up in the work­day ins and outs and for­gets there’s a sleep­ing baby in the back seat. Please stay alert, keep baby in mind, and don’t hes­i­tate to no­tify author­i­ties if you see a child or pet left alone inside a park­ing lot ve­hi­cle on a hot sum­mer day.

• If pos­si­ble, stay in an air-conditioned room or build­ing dur­ing the hottest part of the day. Charles County gov­ern­ment of­fers some help with that. Res­i­dents may go to one of the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions which will be open dur­ing reg­u­lar busi­ness hours: Cap­i­tal Club­house, 3033 Wal­dorf Mar­ket Place, Wal­dorf; Richard R. Clark Se­nior Cen­ter, 1210 Charles St., La Plata; Nan­je­moy Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 4375 Port To­bacco Road, Nan­je­moy; De­part­ment of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, 8190 Port To­bacco Road, Port To­bacco; Charles County Pub­lic Li­braries— La Plata Branch, 2 Gar­rett Ave., La Plata; P.D. Brown Memo­rial Branch, 50 Vil­lage St., Wal­dorf; Po­tomac Branch, 3225 Ruth B. Swan Drive, In­dian Head; Wal­dorf West Li­brary, 10405 O’Don­nell Place, Wal­dorf; Out­door pools — La Plata High School, 6035 Ra­dio Sta­tion Road, La Plata; Thomas Stone High School, 3785 Leonard­town Road, Wal­dorf; McDonough High School, 7165 Mar­shall Corner Road, Pom­fret; In­door pools — Don­ald M. Wade Aquatic Cen­ter at St. Charles High School, 5305 Piney Church Road, Wal­dorf; North Point High School, 2500 Davis Road, Wal­dorf; and Lackey High School, 3000 Chi­ca­muxen Road, In­dian Head.

• Know the symp­toms of an ill­ness brought on by heat: heavy sweat­ing, mus­cle cramps, weak­ness, dizzi­ness, nau­sea, headaches and a weak but rapid pulse. Any­one ex­hibit­ing th­ese symp­toms should find im­me­di­ate shade, drink wa­ter slowly and make sure there is good ven­ti­la­tion. If symp­toms are se­vere, seek med­i­cal care.

It may have taken longer than nor­mal for sum­mer’s swel­ter to kick in this year, but there’s no doubt it’s here in full swing now. We urge res­i­dents to heed th­ese emer­gency man­age­ment tips and en­joy the sea­son safely.

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