Be careful during the ongoing heatwave

ORANJESTAD - For the past few days, Aruba is experiencing extreme temperatures and a scorching sun.

Since the heat wave will likely continue for a few more days, the Department of Public Health DVG is urging the community to be extra careful during these days. Natural phenomena such as heat waves are impossible to control, but one can certainly take action to protect themselves and others from heat waves.

Heat wave Heat wave A heat wave affects people and animals but in particular those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma, as well as those with physical or outdoor jobs. Other vulnerable groups are seniors, children, babies, overweight and obese people. Heat can cause dehydration, heat stroke, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea, muscle cramps, and even stroke from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

The Department of Public Health DVG urges the community to drink a minimum of 2 liters of water per day, use SPF30 and higher, wear sunglasses, a hat or cap, wear light-colored clothing, preferably cotton or linen, and drink hot or caffeinated drinks and to avoiding sugary drinks during the hottest part of the day between 11 am and 2 pm.

The children, the sick, and the elderly are the most vulnerable to this heat wave.

It is essential to monitor them continuously and keep them cool by ensuring their body temperature is normal. Ensure they are hydrated regularly to avoid heat stroke,  a serious condition where the body stops sweating.

Symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • High body temperature in a short time;
  • red and dry face and skin;
  • no sweating;
  • racing heart rate;
  • headache;
  • confusion and possible fainting;
  • vomiting or diarrhea.

What to do in case of sunstroke?

  • Call 911 immediately for medical assistance;
  • keep the person calm and cool;
  • loosen any clothing from the person;
  • cool the person with a wet towel or cloth;
  • place ice or an ice pack under the arms, in the neck, on the back, abdomen, or between the legs;
  • if unconscious, give them water (not too cold) to drink.
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