Tips for coping with heat

Barbadians are being urged to take precautions with the current high temperatures, to avoid dehydration and heatstroke.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr The Most Honourable Kenneth George, said that extreme heat, due to climate change, was being experienced in some parts of Europe and the southwestern United States, and Barbados was not exempted as higher than normal temperatures were being reported for July.

The Barbados Meteorological Services stated that this pattern would continue into September/October, this year.

The Chief Medical Officer pointed out that people needed to observe a simple routine to prevent heat exhaustion, especially with the Crop Over season getting into full swing. He offered a few tips to help people cope with rising temperatures:

Stay hydrated. An individual requires three to three-and-a-half-litres of water per day; however, with the current temperatures, persons may consume up to four to five litres of fluid daily.
Remain indoors when possible and avoid outdoor activities, such as exercise when the sun is at its hottest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. It is recommended that people exercise early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing.
Drink cool water instead of ice-cold water to quench thirst.
Avoid sugary beverages and limit the consumption of alcohol, which worsens the symptoms of heat exhaustion by causing dehydration. Alcohol is also a diuretic and makes the kidneys pass more fluids.
People who work outdoors should take short breaks in cool areas when exposed to the sun.
The elderly should have access to cool water during the day and babies under six months should be exclusively beast fed, and this should be done regularly.

Additionally, if a person is experiencing heat stress, all attempts should be made to bring down his/her core temperature. This can be done by placing cold packs on their chest and forehead, or by using a wet towel to reduce the temperature. (BGIS)

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