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Stay safe as mercury rises
July 4, 2016, 3:07 pm

With high temperatures being a regular feature of daily life in summer, doctors are warning of the health dangers posed by exposure to the sun and heat. They urge topple to keep cool as the mercury soars.

Although preventable, many heat-related illnesses, including deaths, occur annually. Older adults, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to the heat if one does not take appropriate precautions, say doctors.

To reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses during hot weather doctors advise remaining in an air-conditioned building whenever possible, whether it is your home, office, shopping mall, theatre or library.

Also wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing, wear a hat or use an umbrella, and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin before venturing outside. It is also important to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated and to avoid caffeinated and sugary beverages.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist if any medications you s are taking will increase your risk of heat-related illness. For example, diuretics (water pills) can pose a risk during hot weather. If you are taking a medication that ups the risk of heat-related problems, ask your doctor if there are additional steps you need to take to reduce the risk.

If possible, limit strenuous outdoor activity and exercise to early morning or evening, when temperatures are lower. Monitor local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat for health and safety updates.

At first signs of heat illness, which include dizziness, nausea, headaches and muscle cramps, move to a cooler place, rest a few minutes, then slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if conditions do not improve.

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