CHP reminds public on precautions against heat stroke under very hot weather

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (August 3) reminded members of the public, particularly those undertaking outdoor activities, to take heed of necessary measures against heat stroke and sunburn in view of the very hot weather.

"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 obese, the sick, including those with heart disease or high blood pressure, the old and the young are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. They should pay special attention," the spokesman added.

The public should adopt the following precautions under hot weather:

  • Wear loose and light-coloured clothing to reduce heat absorption and facilitate sweat evaporation and heat dissipation;
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and prolonged activities like hiking or trekking as heat, sweating and exhaustion place additional demands on your physique;
  • Perform outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon;
  • For indoor activities, open all windows, use a fan or use air-conditioning to maintain good ventilation; and
  • Reschedule work to cooler times of the day.
  • If working in a very hot environment is inevitable, introduce shade in the workplace where practicable, and start work slowly and pick up the pace gradually. Get into a cool area for rest at regular intervals to allow the body to recuperate.

The public should also note the latest and the forecast Ultraviolet (UV) Index released by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). When the UV Index remains high (6 or above):

  • Minimise direct exposure of the skin and the eyes to sunlight;
  • Wear loose long-sleeved clothing made of close-woven fabrics;
  • Wear a wide brim hat or use an umbrella;
  • Seek a shaded area or put on UV blocking sunglasses; and
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above. Apply liberally and reapply after swimming or sweating.

Anyone feeling unwell should stop exercising immediately and seek medical advice as soon as possible.