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Preventive measures against heat stroke and sunburn under very hot weather urged

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 30) reminded members of the public, particularly those undertaking outdoor activities, to take heed of necessary measures to prevent heat stroke and sunburn under the expected very hot weather in the following days.

     "The public should carry and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration while engaging in outdoor activities," a CHP spokesman said.

     "People 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 from the body through the urinary system.

     "Children, the elderly, the sick (including those with heart disease or high blood pressure) and obese persons, who are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, should pay special attention," the spokesman remarked.

     The spokesman advised members of the public to adopt the following preventive measures when going outdoors under very hot weather:

* Wear loose light-coloured clothing to reduce heat absorption and facilitate sweat evaporation and heat dissipation;

* Do not engage in prolonged activities like hiking or trekking as heat, sweating and exhaustion place additional demands on one's physique;

* Choose to perform outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon;

* Reschedule your work to cooler times of the day. If working in a very hot environment is inevitable, introduce shading in the workplace where practicable, and start it slowly and pick up the pace gradually. Get into a cool area for rest at regular intervals to allow the body to recuperate;

* Take heed of the latest and forecast ultraviolet (UV) index released by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). When the UV index remains high (6 or above), consider wearing long-sleeved clothing made of close-woven fabrics, wearing a wide-brim hat or using an umbrella, seeking shade, putting on UV radiation-blocking sunglasses, and applying sunscreen with a protection factor of 15 or above. The above precautions should be reinforced for higher UV indexes; and

* Ensure adequate ventilation when exercising indoors.

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

     For further information on the prevention of heat stroke and protection against UV radiation, the public may call the Health Education Hotline on 2833 0111 or visit the website of the Central Health Education Unit (

     The public may also call "Dial-a-Weather" on 1878 200 or visit the HKO's website ( for the latest weather information and forecast.

Ends/Thursday, May 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:00


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