Summer heat can be dangerous, if you don’t take proper precautions.  With the National Weather Service predicting high temperatures, citizens are encouraged to prepare. Take the necessary steps to have an enjoyable summer.

Weather Alerts:

  • Heat advisory  – when the heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • ·         Excessive Heat Warning –when the heat is expected to reach or exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Child Safety:   Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. Reduce the Number of Deaths from Heatstroke by Remembering to ACT.

A – Avoid heatstroke related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C – Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T – Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Pet Safety:  Animals get stressed from the heat and it’s important to make an extra effort to keep pets cool, comfortable, and healthy. 

  • Never leave an animal in a parked car. Even when it’s only 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 120 degrees in just minutes. And, leaving the windows partially rolled down won’t do the trick. Even if you plan to be in the store for “just a minute,” your pet is at risk of a heat stroke.
  • If you will be walking with your pet, remember that while paw pads are “tough” they are also sensitive, and can be burned while walking on hot pavement and tar. If possible, walk on grass or dirt, and check your pet’s paw pads to make sure there isn’t any redness or pain.
  • Keep water in the shade and make sure it is fresh every day. Secure the water dish to avoid an accidental spill.
  • If your pet must be outside, make sure that shade is available at all times.

Heat symptoms:
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:  Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, or fainting. People experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a shady or air-conditioned area. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes or towels. Have person sip on a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. If the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat Stroke Symptoms:  Body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness, and gray skin color. Heat Stroke is a life-threatening situation. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Before medical help arrives, begin cooling the person by any means possible, such as spraying person with water from a garden hose or by placing the person in a cool tub of water.

The Charles County Department of Emergency Services encourages any groups hosting outdoor activities during extreme heat events to take necessary precautions. Anyone staying outdoors for extended amounts of time should be kept out of the sun and strenuous activities should be eliminated. Drink plenty of water and wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.

Citizens should call 9-1-1 in the event of any emergency, heat-related or otherwise.