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Public warned of heat stroke amid ‘very hot’ weather

23 June 2020

By The SUN

The "Very Hot Weather" warning was raised today as temperatures rose to over 30 degrees

Hong Kong people have been reminded to beware of heat stroke and sunburn after the Observatory raised the “Very Hot Weather Warning” today, Jun 23.

The Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection issued the reminder as daytime temperatures hovered above 30 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperature of 33 degrees was recorded in Lau Fau Shan, Sai Kung, Chek Lap Kok, Wong Tai Sin and Yuen Long Park.

At 5pm the mean temperature was still at 32 degrees Celsius.

“The public should carry and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration while engaging in outdoor activities,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

“Those engaged in strenuous outdoor activities should avoid beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee and tea, as well as alcohol, as they speed up water loss through the urinary system,” the spokesman explained.

The CHP said those who are obese or ailing (including those with heart disease or high blood pressure), the old and the young are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and should pay more attention to the warning.

The CHP also urged the public to adopt the following precautions:

1)     Wear loose and light-colored clothing to reduce heat absorption and facilitate sweat evaporation and heat dissipation;
2)     Avoid vigorous exercise and prolonged activities, such as hiking or trekking, as heat, sweating and exhaustion can place additional demands on the physique;
3)     Perform outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon;
4)     For indoor activities, open all windows, use a fan or use air-conditioning to maintain good ventilation;
5)     Reschedule work to cooler times of the day.

Hikers or those who do strenuous activities outdoors should take particular care to avoid heat stroke

If working in a hot environment is inevitable, introduce shade in the workplace where practicable. Start work slowly and pick up the pace gradually. Move to a cool area for rest at regular intervals to allow the body to recuperate.

The public is also cautioned that when the UV Index is high (6 or above), the following should be observed:

1)     Minimize direct exposure of the skin and the eyes to sunlight;
2)     Wear long-sleeved and loose-fitting clothes;
3)     Wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella; eek a shaded area or put on UV-blocking sunglasses;
4)     Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or above. Apply liberally and reapply after swimming, sweating or toweling off; and
5)     If using insect repellents for personal protection, apply sunscreen first. If symptoms develop, such as dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath or confusion, rest and seek help immediately, and seek medical advice as soon as possible.

The public may obtain more information from the DH's Health Education Infoline (2833 0111), heat stroke page and UV radiation page; the HKO's Dial-a-Weather (1878 200), latest weather and forecastUV Index and weather information for hiking and mountaineering; and press releases of the Labour Department on precautions against heat stroke for outdoor workers and their employers when the Very Hot Weather Warning is in force.  


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