As we are heading towards a summer with ever-increasing day temperatures around Taiwan, the risk of heat injury is greatly increased as well. There are six high risk groups that should avoid exposure to the high temperatures. The Director-General of the Health Promotion Administration, Ying-Wei Wang reminds the public the three major keys to prevent heat injury this summer, “Keep cool, replenish fluids, and be aware”.
Six high risk groups
Anyone can suffer from heat injury, however, infant and children, elders over 65, chronic disease patients, patients on medication, people whose workplace are outdoors, sportsmen, people who work in closed spaces, and people who are overweight are considered the high-risk groups of heat injury.
Three key tips for heat injury prevention
The Health Promotion Administration reminds the public of the 3 key tips to prevent heat injury:
(一)Wear light, comfortable, and loose clothing with light colors.
(二)No matter the duration, never keep infants and children alone in a closed and parked car.
(三) Stay in the cool indoors with sufficient ventilation or air conditioning. If you have no air conditioning at home, it is recommended to go to any public areas with air conditioning during high temperatures.
(四) Install blinds indoors to prevent direct sunlight, and turn off unnecessary lighting and electronic equipment to reduce the amount of heat generated indoors.
(五) Employers should enhance the ventilation equipment or use the air conditioning in the workplace to separate the high temperature equipment and displace the heat.
(一) Regardless of the level of activity, you should always replenish your fluids regularly. Do not wait till you are thirsty to replenish your fluids. Keep a good habit of drinking at least 2000ml of water per day unless prescribed otherwise by the physician. If the doctor has prescribed less water intake for you, please consult the doctor about the amount of water that needs to be consumed during the summer.
(二)People who work outdoors or exercise should replenish two to four cups of water (240ml per cup), and avoid smoking and alcohol.
(三)Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables as they contain higher water content and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is healthy and an alternative to replenish your fluids.
(四)Do not replenish your fluids with alcohol or sugary drinks. It will cause further loss of water in the body.
(五)Avoid drinking water that is too icy that will irritate your stomach.
(一)It is important for those who work outdoors, sportsmen, or those working in closed spaces to stay aware of the physical condition of yourself and your co-workers. Make sure you get sufficient rest and fluids are replenished.
(二)Infants, children, and elders should avoid going outdoors from 10am to 2pm. When heading outdoors, it is recommended to stay under the shade, wear sunscreen, wear a broad-brimmed hat, and your sun-glasses.
(三)Place a thermometer indoors to understand the changes to room temperature during the day, and take measures to maintain the room temperature at a comfortable level. Follow the weather forecast to plan your outdoor activities on a day with milder temperatures.
(四)Inspect your household and workplace air conditioning equipment to make sure it is operating optimally.
(五) In order to prevent heat injury amongst your employees, employers should provide a comfortable working environment and install relevant protection measures such as the promotion of heat injury prevention, reallocation of work during the day to refrain your employees from working more than 6 hours under extreme heat. Furthermore, employers should arrange relevant training and education to let employees understand the symptoms of heat injury and enhance their competencies of preventing heat injury.