COLUMBIA, MD – In response to continuing high temperatures forecast by the National Weather Service Thursday through the weekend, Dr. Maura J. Rossman, Howard County Health Officer, has issued a public advisory for Howard County. The combination of heat and humidity may result in high heat index values during the afternoon hours Thursday, and again Saturday through Monday. This excessive heat may cause heat illness to occur.

The warning signs of heat-related illness include the following: light-headedness, headaches, muscle cramps, mild nausea or confusion, fatigue or profuse sweating and rapid breathing. All residents are encouraged to take a common-sense approach to the extreme heat and take the following precautions to prevent heat related illness:

  • NEVER leave children or pets unattended in a parked car or other hot environment.
  • If you must be out in the heat, wear light-colored, light-weight, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and sunscreen.
  • Stay well hydrated. Drink water and caffeine-free liquids. Avoid alcoholic beverages. (Alcoholic beverages do not keep you hydrated.)
  • Stay out of the sun during the hours of 10:00a.m. and 3:00p.m.
  • Take frequent rest breaks in air conditioned or shaded environments.
  • Check on elderly friends, family and neighbors. Be aware of the symptoms of heat related illness: extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, possible vomiting or fainting, dry red skin.

Howard County residents in need of a cooler environment can visit one of Howard County’s Community Centers, 50+ Centers, or Library branches during normal hours. Anyone in need of shelter or other assistance should call the Grassroots hotline at 410-531-6677.

As with any other emergency, citizens should call 9-1-1 if they encounter a heat related emergency. For more detailed information, visit the Health Department website at www.hchealth.org.

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