July 20, 2012

Noteworthy Notes

How to be Cool (and Safe) When it’s Hot

With a summer filled so far with higher than average temperatures, Montgomery County health officials encourage residents to keep in mind places where they can stay cool and to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Most at risk are young children, the elderly and people with health problems, such as asthma, who are susceptible to heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and exhaustion.
Libraries, recreation centers and pools are good places to cool off, along with shopping malls and movie theaters.

To quickly find the location of public facilities, visit My Montgomery at http://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mymontgomery and type in your location.  The website includes locations of pools, parks, libraries, regional services centers, recreation centers, Metro stations, hospitals and golf courses.

Residents with questions about specific locations and hours of operation should call 311.
By taking a few precautions, residents can remain safe and comfortable during summer heat waves:
  • Stay indoors whenever possible. 
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Check frequently on elderly relatives or neighbors and other at-risk individuals.
  • Never leave pets or young children in a car.
Also, knowing the symptoms of heat exposure can prevent a serious heat illness from becoming life threatening.
  • Heat cramps – symptoms include painful muscle spasms, usually involving the abdominal muscles or legs;
  • Heat exhaustion -- first signs are cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness; and
  • Heat stroke -- the most serious sign of overexposure.  Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin, weak pulse, rapid breathing and changes in consciousness.  Seek emergency medical attention by calling 911.
For more information on ways to beat the heat, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Traffic Signal Installed at Dangerous Intersection in Wheaton

The new signal, at the intersection of Claridge and Veirs Mill Rds. (Maryland Route 586), will help protect pedestrians crossing multiple lanes of traffic.

Between 2003 and 2008, 70 accidents occurred at the intersection bordered by St. Catherine Laboure Parish and a highly utilized bus stop.  Three of the accidents resulted in fatalities.

Installation of the traffic signal is the culmination of a multi-year effort by residents, members of the County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly and Councilmember Valerie Ervin, with strong support from Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Nancy Navarro.

One-stop Website Highlights County Health Data

Residents and other interested users can find population-based data and information about community health and the social and environmental determinants of health for Montgomery County online at Healthy Montgomery’s website www.healthymontgomery.org.

The site provides data and information on more than 90 topics related to the health and well being of the community and its residents.
Facts on the site include:
  • It costs nearly $70,000 for a family of three to live in Montgomery County without receiving any public subsidy for child care, food, housing or transportation.
  • One in every 10 teens in Montgomery County has experienced depression in the past year
  • Only one-third of the adult population in Montgomery County engages in regular moderate physical activity
  • One out of every three residents speaks a language other than English at home.