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Cecil County man, 52, marks Maryland's first heat-related death of 2023

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BALTIMORE -- A 52-year-old man who died recently in Cecil County marks Maryland's first heat-related death this year, the Maryland Department of Health said Thursday.

Nilesh Kalyanaraman, deputy secretary for public health services with the Maryland Department of Health, said the man's tragic death demonstrates the perils posed by heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"As we experience more hot days like today, this tragedy reminds us of how important it is to take every precaution to avoid overheating," Kalyanaraman. "Also, be sure to check on family and neighbors who are at risk for heat-related illness."

The Department of Health's advisory comes as Maryland has grappled with a week of heat that has pushed temperatures into the 90s.

The health department is reminding Marylanders not to leave children or pets in their cars for any length of time, even with the windows cracked, when the weather is hot. The agency also asking residents to check on neighbors and loved ones.

It's worth noting that anyone, no matter their age, can develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

But those most at risk include children under 5 and adults over the age of 65, as well as those with chronic conditions, people exercising or working outdoors, and those who take certain medications.

Here's a list of tips from the health department to help manage hot weather:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water
  • Steer clear of alcohol, caffeine and sugar-heavy beverages
  • Dress in lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear sunblock and stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Avoid doing strenuous activity in the peak hours of the day
  • If working or working out, take frequent breaks to cool off

Anyone in need of a place to cool off is asked to contact their local health department. You can also dial 211 and get information about cooling center locations and hours by providing your county and ZIP code.

To learn more about heat-related illness, visit the agency's website.

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