Excessive Heat Stress Is Potentially Fatal

Excessive Heat Stress Is Potentially Fatal


The Ministry of Health and Wellness would like to warn the general public that exposure to excessive heat stress may be hazardous to one’s health and might even be fatal.

Like other Caribbean countries, Jamaica experiences a heat season typically between May and October each year. This is a year of extremely high temperatures. The public, especially the vulnerable (elderly, children under six years and bedridden persons), are, therefore, advised to take precautionary measures to reduce exposure to heat and limit the severe effects it can have on the body.


Heat-related illnesses

Heat-related illnesses typically range from mild conditions such as a rash or cramps to severe and potentially life-threatening conditions such as heatstroke. To prevent illness associated with the heat, members of the public should:

  • Hydrate with cool water, especially when it is hot and humid.
  • Drink more fluids, and limit or avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and beverages that contain alcohol.
  • Drink more water than usual before, during and after vigorous activities.
  • Drink at least 15 minutes before, and take fluid breaks every 15 minutes.
  • Exercise indoors where possible;
  • If one becomes exposed to heat for long periods (greater than two hours), drink more water than usual ;
  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day.
  • Limit as much as possible outdoor activities to mornings and evenings.
  • Seek out shade when outdoors; and
  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics.

Where do you stand?

The head has a greater impact on some people than others. Among the most vulnerable are the elderly, bedridden persons, infants and children younger than six. Persons who are overweight and those with preexisting medical conditions (including diabetes and hypertension). Don’t leave children in locked vehicles under any circumstances.


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