The Ministry of Health is advising the public to take precautionary measures to reduce exposure to heat and limit the serious effects it can have on the body. The most common heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion, heat rash, heat cramps, and the most severe illness, heat stroke.
Signs associated with a heat stroke include a very high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit ), hot and dry skin, a throbbing headache and dizziness. If any of these signs are noted, seek medical assistance immediately while finding ways to cool down the person such as sponging with cold water, wrapping the person in a wet, cold sheet and fanning the person vigorously.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye further shared that some persons are at greater risk of being affected by heat. “This includes infants and children who are 4 years old and under, persons who are overweight, those with medical conditions and elderly persons.”
Persons are therefore being urged to prevent illness associated with heat by:
- Drinking more fluids, particularly those that are not sweet and do not contain alcohol;
- Drinking more water before, during and after vigorous activities
- Drinking more water if one is exposed to heat for long periods
- Limiting as much as possible outdoor activities to mornings and evenings;
- Wearing light-weight, light coloured, loose fitting clothes