Just ahead of the July 4th weekend — when temperatures are expected to return to the 90s — the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported another heat related-death.
This is the sixth for the state this season — and the same number that died of heat in all of 2009. This is also the first that does not involve a senior, though the victim was an adult. The person, who was only identified as a Montgomery County resident, was found outside and had no serious underlying health conditions.
"As we celebrate the birth of our great nation this holiday weekend, it's vital that we all take precautions against the high temperatures to protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors, especially our seniors," said Gov. Martin O'Malley, in a statement. "As part of our plans to enjoy this holiday with activities both indoors and out, please take some time to check in with neighbors who might need assistance as temperatures climb towards one-hundred degrees this weekend and in the days beyond."
All of the other victims were seniors who were found inside without air conditioning, except for one senior who was found outside. None were homeless.
State officials are reminding residents to drink lots of fluids, avoid alcohol and stay in the air conditioning or shade to avoid heat exhaustion and stroke. People should check on neighbors and not leave pets or children in car or outside in the sun with no drinks.
Heatstroke occurs when the body reaches 105 degrees or higher. Symptoms include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. It can take only minutes for someone to become seriously ill. A victim should be placed in a cool bath or under cool towels and emergency care should be sought.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke than can develop because of the heat and dehydration. Symptoms include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea or headache and vomiting. Those with signs of exhaustion should drink lots of fluids and rest in a cool area.
Meredith.Cohn@baltsun.com Sign up for Baltimore Sun local news text alerts