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Jamaicans urged to reduce heat Exposure

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Wednesday, May 15, 2024: The Ministry of Health & Wellness is reminding the public that excessive heat stress is harmful to health and is potentially fatal.

Typically, heat-related illnesses can range from mild conditions such as a rash or cramps to serious and potentially life-threatening conditions such as heatstroke. In order to prevent illness associated with the heat, members of the public are encouraged to:

  • Hydrate with cool water, especially when it is hot and humid;
  • Drink more fluids, limit or avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and beverages that contain alcohol;
  • Drink more water than normal before, during and after vigorous activities (at least 15 minutes before, and take fluid breaks at least every 15 minutes);
  • Exercise indoors where possible;
  • Drink more water than normal if one is exposed to heat for long periods (greater than two hours);
  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day, such as by limiting, as much as possible, outdoor activities to mornings and evenings; and seeking out shade when outdoors; and
  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics.

Some persons are at greater risk of being affected by heat. Among the most vulnerable are the elderly, bedridden persons, as well as infants and children younger than six years of age, persons who are overweight and those with preexisting medical conditions (including diabetes and hypertension). Children should not be left in locked vehicles under any circumstances.