HEAT AND COLD
GENERAL ADVICE FOR HOT WEATHER
- Drink plenty of fluids
- During hot weather, one will need to drink more fluid than the thirst indicates.This is especially true for people aged 65 or above who often have a decreased ability in responding to external temperature changes.
- During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink 2-4 glasses (0.5-1 litre) of cool fluids each hour.
- Avoid very cold beverages because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Avoid drinks containing alcohol because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
- Replace salt and minerals
- Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. The easiest and safest way to replace salt and minerals is through your diet. Drink fruit juice or sports beverage during exercise or any work in the heat.
- Do not take salt tablets unless directed by your doctor.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen
- Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home.
- Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool.
- Stay cool indoors
- The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned area, e.g. shopping mall, public library.
- Electric fans can draw cool air into the house at night and increase comfort.
- A cool shower or bath is an effective way to cool off.
- Plan outdoor activities carefully
- If you are unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
- If exertion in the heat makes your heart pounding and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activities, get into a cool area, or at least stay in the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, weak, or faint.
- Avoid mid-day sun (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.).
- While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area. Resting periodically will give your body a chance to recover.
- Use common sense
- Be aware that any sudden change in temperature will be stressful to your body.
- If travelling to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimatised before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.
- Avoid hot foods and heavy meals - they add heat to your body.
- Do not leave infants or children in a parked car.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR COLD WEATHER
- Wear appropriate clothing
- Wear adequate warm clothing.
- Clothing made of micropore material can trap air while keeping out of the rain and wind which is especially suitable for cold climate.
- Cover exposed body parts e.g. nose, ears, cheeks, chin, and protect extremities e.g. toes, fingers, with thick woollen socks and mittens.
- Remove wet clothing promptly.
- Aware of signs and symptoms.
- Look out for early signs of frostbite in companion. Frostbite is usually pointed out by a companion instead of detected by oneself.
- If frostbite is detected, exclude hypothermia by taking the body temperature.
- Hypothermia is a medical emergency. Get medical assistance immediately if detected.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco
- Beware of metals
- Never touch metal with bare hands.
- Do not wear spectacles or sunglasses with metal frame.