Heat stress can cause illnesses; CPS urges vigilance of elderly, infants and young children

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour observes that for several days it has been very warm, and recommends to the community to take action during such warm periods.
CPS is calling on the community to monitor closely friends, family members and co-workers with respect to heat stress and to minimize their exposure risk.
The Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, via his ‘Get Checked’ campaign, strongly recommends to the community to take measures to avoid heat exhaustion.
Heat-related illnesses occur as a result of heat exposure. Hot conditions put your body under a lot of stress. Physical activity stresses the body even more. When heat is combined with physical activity, loss of fluids, fatigue, and other conditions can lead to a number of heat-related illnesses and injuries. Death is even possible.
Certain individuals, such as the elderly (people 65+ years of age), infants and young children up to four years of age, the obese, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for developing heat-related illness.
The six main factors involved in causing heat stress are: high temperatures; humidity; lack in movement of air; radiant temperature of the surroundings; heavy clothing; and physical activity.
To reduce the possibility of heat stress, you can use air-conditioning, fans to circulate the air and reduce physical activity; increase the frequency and duration of rest breaks; and schedule tasks to avoid heavy physical activity during the hottest parts of the day.
Drinking cold water regularly; wear lightweight clothing which allows moisture to evaporate quickly; rehydration; using sunscreen.
Knowing what to look out for in heat stress is important to avoid life threatening situations. Serious heat stress conditions cause the victim to become disoriented and unaware of their condition.
The major heat stress injuries and illnesses are: heat rash (on the skin, a bumpy rash which itches severely); heat cramps (painful muscle cramps caused by a loss of salt through excessive sweating); heat syncope (sudden fainting); heat exhaustion (as a result of inadequate salt and water intake); heat stroke (the deadliest of all heat stress conditions, the victim’s skin is hot, red and dry, their pulse is fast and may complain of headache or dizziness).
For further information you should consult with your family physician or call CPS at telephone number: 542-3553, 542-2078.