Mon | Jul 22, 2019

Heat is on! - Doc gives tips to cope

Published:Wednesday | June 26, 2019 | 12:31 AM
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With temperatures skyrocketing to unprecedented levels in Jamaica, especially in the last week, at least one medical practitioner is offering valuable tips to Jamaicans to cope with the heat.

Temperatures rose to 39.10C in Kingston on Saturday, a record confirmed by the Meteorological Office of Jamaica.

Persons who work in the construction sector, street vendors, and other workers exposed to the sweltering heat of the sun are being advised to take precaution is against the rising temperatures.

Dr Garth Rattray, a medical doctor, told The Gleaner that rising temperatures should not be taken lightly. He said that while individuals lose water through perspiration and urination mostly, speaking can also impact the body’s water levels. “With the rise in temperatures, we are at a greater risk of heat stroke as our body fails to cool accordingly. Those below the age of 10 and above the age of 65 are more at risk than any other age group, he said”

Some measures to keep safe during this particularly hot season are:

- Keep hydrated – drink water before you start to feel thirsty as we lose a lot more water than we think we do through casual activities like speaking. Water helps cool us down!

- Maintain your space – people give off body heat of 36.10C, so staying close to other people can cause your own temperature to rise. As such, try to avoid small rooms.

- Get air – utilise a fan or stay by a window to allow for consistent airflow.

- Cotton is your friend – wear cotton and other light, breathable fabrics that will facilitate your body cooling down.

- Cover up – although this may seem contrary, it is important to cover your skin to protect it from the harmful rays of the sun, as well as to create a layer to catch sweat as it escapes your body in an effort to help cool down your skin.

In addition to these tips, watch out for symptoms of heat stroke such as nausea, dizziness and muscle cramps, which could prove fatal. If these symptoms are detected, visit the nearest hospital or clinic.

Tiara Thompson