Lagos counsels on How to cope with Heat Wave


Following the current excessive hot weather being experienced in the country in the past two weeks, the Lagos State Government has advised citizens to reduce the amount of time they spend in the sun as part of means to prevent illness as a result of the adverse weather condition. Day time Temperatures of between 32 and 35 celsius are being recorded in the Lagos area. And there is no let up in the coming week, according to the metereologists.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who gave the advice in a statement at the weekend, also said strenuous activities that could result in over-exposure to the sun such as sports and gardening must be avoided or done in the early hours of the day when the temperature is coolest.

Dr. Idris, who said children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, also advised that people should drink plenty of water and avoid drinks containing alcohol and caffeine, adding that people should wear loose fitting light-colour clothing that cover as much of their skin as possible when outside.

Other protective measures against the heat, the commissioner said, include using protective gadgets such as hat, umbrella, sunglasses or sunscreen, taking cold baths and leaving the water to dry on the skin, controlling the temperature of work environment by proper ventilation, staying on the lowest floor of the house out of the sunshine and covering windows that receive sun with drapes or louvres.

The commissioner advised that where heat injury is suspected, the victim should relocate to a cooler place and rest, take off any excessive clothing and put on cool clothes on his or her skin while also fanning him or herself.

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Other actions that could be taken by the victim, he said, include drinking cool water that has salt and sugar as part of its ingredients, adding that if there is no improvement, the victim should call the 767 or 112 toll free line or report at the nearest health facility.

Dr Idris, who noted that the abnormal hot weather condition has made life uncomfortable in the past fortnight, said continuous exposure to the condition is dangerous to health as it could lead to illness, adding that those at risk most are children, the elderly and people who have medical problems such as Asthma as well as those on medication for certain conditions.

Illnesses that could result from excessive exposure to the heat condition, the Commissioner said, include heat rash, heat stress, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, adding that while some of these could be managed, some of them would require urgent medical attention as death may occur if not promptly attended to.

Signs of illness resulting from excessive heat may include headache, dizziness, cold moist skin, fainting, confusion, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and rapid breathing, the Commissioner said, pointing out that knowledge of the symptoms of the exposure could prevent illness from becoming life threatening.

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