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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Season's First Heat Wave Safety Advice


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO


The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures combined with high humidity over the next couple of days. Heat indexes are likely to meet or exceed 100 degrees. Because this is the first round of seasonal heat and bodies are not acclimated yet, heat exhaustion and heat stroke will be a bigger threat than they would be later in the summer. Everyone is reminded to take precautions to stay safe and healthy.

With high heat and humidity upon us in Prince George’s County the men and women of your Fire/EMS Department want you to stay informed and take precautions to stay safe and healthy. Temperatures in the nineties, combined with high humidity may create a dangerous situation for children, the elderly, and those who suffer from chronic heart or lung conditions.

Your best protection is to stay well hydrated. Sweat, or water, allows heat to evaporate from your skin’s surface. If you become dehydrated, it is more difficult for your body to maintain an acceptable temperature. The best thing to drink is water. Gatorade or other sports drinks are also good. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Limit heavy exertion when high levels of heat and humidity are present. High humidity levels make it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:

Any heat related illnesses will require a victim to be removed from the hot environment to an air-conditioned or cool/shaded area. 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911. 
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.

Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include “dry” red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Your body has lost the ability to sweat and naturally “cool-off” – this is a true medical emergency.  Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath, bags of ice or wet towels. Place ice bags in each armpit, groin and back of the neck.  A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911. 

Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe

At Work

• Avoid the heat
• Reduce activity
• Drink plenty of water

Outdoors

• Wear light colored clothing
• Drink plenty of water
• Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade

At Home

• Check on relatives and friends, especially the elderly
• Increase time spent in an air-conditioned environment
• Eat smaller meals, more often
• Take cool baths
• Make sure pets have access to water and shade

Remember to Stay Safe to ensure everyone goes home.

Safe Kids Prince George’s Statement on Heatsroke Deaths in Cars

Press Release - Rapid Response
2016

Safe Kids Prince George’s Statement on Heatsroke Deaths in Cars

We join the communities and families of young children that suffer heatstroke deaths  in mourning their loss. To gain perspective on such a tragic incident, we ask that concerned citizens read “Fatal Distraction:  Forgetting a Child in the Back seat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake.  Is It a Crime?” by Gene Weingarten, Washington Post Staff Writer.

Unfortunately, no one is immune to this kind of tragedy. Parents and caregivers can cut down the number of deaths and near misses 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.
Safe Kids Prince George’s  is working to ensure that no child is alone in a car, not even for a minute. We’re participating in an education and awareness program that provides posters and tip sheets at childcare centers, doctor’s offices and hospitals and police and fire stations.  

Since 1998, more than 660 children across the United States have died from heatstroke while unattended in cars. You can help us spread the word to your community to stop these preventable tragedies. Additional prevention information can be found at www.safekids.org/heatstroke, and statistics on child heatstroke deaths can be found at www.noheatstroke.org   

About Safe Kids – Prince George’s

Safe Kids Prince George’s works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children.  Safe Kids Prince George’s is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing unintentional injury, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of injuries each year, and every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids Prince George’s is led by Fire/EMS Department. For additional information call Teresa Crisman, Safe Kids Coordinator, at 301-883-5250 or Email at TACrisman@co.pg.md.us.

About General Motors and Safe Kids Buckle Up


Beginning in 1997, General Motors and the GM Foundation have served as Safe Kids Worldwide’s exclusive funding source and helped build the Safe Kids Buckle Up program into a multifaceted national initiative, bringing motor vehicle safety messages to children and families through community and dealer partnerships.  To date, more than 23 million people have been exposed to Safe Kids Worldwide events and community outreach efforts. Certified child passenger safety technicians working through Safe Kids coalitions have examined over 1.89 million child safety seats at more than 94,000 events, and the program has donated more than 667,000 seats to families in need.