PHILIPSBURG–Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards that have a significant impact on society, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) stated on Tuesday. The department believes that extremely hot weather can affect residents’ health.
“Individuals should stay cool and hydrated. Extremely hot weather can cause sickness or in severe cases even death. Those who are particularly vulnerable because they adjust to heat more slowly than other people are infants, children up to age four, and adults over the age of 65,” according to CPS.
Certain health conditions are risk factors associated with heat-related illness. These include kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity or underweight, sickle cell and mental illness. People with diabetes are at an increased risk from heat-related illness.
“Persons should check with their physician to see if your health condition and medications are likely to affect your ability to cope with extreme heat and humidity. Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body’s inability to cool down properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough,” stated CPS.
“Heat-related illnesses or death are preventable if you follow a few simple steps. During the hottest hours of the day stay out of the sun. When you are out in the hot sun, use sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more. Stay in an air-conditioned area or well-ventilated cool area. If you don’t have air conditioning, make use of public places such as shops, a shopping mall or go to the library to stay cool.
“Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Drink water often; invest in a water bottle to keep with you at all times and refill as soon as it is empty. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. Make it a habit to take a sip every now and then. Drink at least two litres of water per day,” said CPS.
A cool and/or shaded environment is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to cool air for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.
CPS reminded the public to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and family against heat-related illness during the summer break.