THE Ministry of Health and Wellness has issued a caution for persons to remain hydrated, and to avoid direct sunlight as Saint Lucia is currently experiencing increased heat levels.
Officials from the Metrological Services Department have confirmed that the weather is due to dry atmospheric conditions accompanied by little cloud cover and dust haze. Collectively, these factors place the public at risk for dehydration and its related effects, which include dizziness and fainting spells.
To avoid the detrimental effects of heat waves, the Ministry of Health advises the public to avoid exposure to direct sunlight, particularly between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and to regularly drink water. It should be noted that sugar-laden drinks are not a substitute for water, as they contribute to further dehydration.
These guidelines are particularly important for the elderly and young who tend to be most easily affected by extreme heat. Diabetics and persons with chronic diseases are also urged to take the precautions indicated.
School officials are advised to ensure that students drink water during the day and limit outdoor activity in the direct sunlight. Adults are advised to limit alcohol consumption during outdoor activities and to increase water intake during physical activity. Ensure that hats, cool, light-coloured protective clothing, and sunblock are used to reduce the impact of the heat.
For further information contact Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, Medical Officer for Health, at 758-468-5310.