Age, health, environment are factors that lead to heat stroke

08 May 2023 01:00pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Individuals aged 65 years old and above, young children aged five and below are at higher risk of having heatstroke as it is harder for them to regulate their body temperature.

Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist at Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City, Dr Ch’ng Tong Wooi said other factors contributing to the risk includes health or physical condition.

"Chronic diseases patients, for example individuals with diabetes, respiratory conditions and heart diseases, or individuals who are taking medications also may be affected by extreme heat.

" Expectant and nursing mothers are at a risk too as they are more likely to become dehydrated,” she said in a statement today.

She said working individuals who are exposed to the hot weather such as farmers and construction workers are also at risk of heatstroke.

Dr Ch'ng advised everyone to take extra precaution and measures to reduce their exposure to the current hot weather as being exposed to it could affect their health and well-being,” She said as many parts of the country are currently facing hot weather, and there are already cases affecting young children, it is important for individuals, especially parents, to be able to recognise the symptoms of heatstroke early.

"Among symptoms are high body temperature (40°C or higher); letharginess, headache, nausea and dizziness; having trouble breathing; confusion or disorientation; and loss of consciousness," she added.

Dr Ch’ng pointed out that people have to be cautious once the temperature reaches 33°C or higher prior to being in hot surroundings especially for children in schools, "In schools, teachers can monitor the students’ condition and act quickly when they see symptoms of heatstroke. Schools are also encouraged to take preventive measures to avoid heatstroke.

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"It is also advised to use sunscreen when they are outdoors and to minimise outdoor activities as much as possible," she added.

Dr Ch'ng also advised the public to focus on releasing heat from their body by drinking enough fluids to rehydrate the body.

"We can also drink fruit juice with added water or sport drinks to replenish the electrolytes,” she said. - BERNAMA

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