The number of people seeking medical treatment for heat injury last month rose 40 percent to 653 from 467 a year earlier, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said yesterday.
Heat injuries include heatstroke, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, thermal fatigue and heat edema, it said.
HPA Community Health Division head Lo Su-ying (羅素英) said that people should drink water regularly when they are in warm environments, regardless of whether they are engaged in sports or other intense activities.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
They should not wait until they are thirsty to drink water, she said, adding that decreased urine output and darker urine color are signs of inadequate fluid intake.
People should also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, Lo said.
People who work outdoors should monitor weather updates, she said, adding that they should avoid working at high noon.
Their work environment should be equipped with ventilators and shades, she said, adding that employers should arrange for workers to work in shifts when the weather is hot.
“Workers should wear light-colored, easy-fitting clothes made of breathable materials. They should wear sun-blocking and ventilating hats as well as sunglasses, and avoid direct exposure to the sun or hot stoves for long periods,” Lo said.
People with chronic diseases and elderly people should undergo health exams to see if they can work in environments with high temperature and humidity, Lo said.
They should also watch their use of medication, as taking diuretics, for example, would accelerate dehydration, she said.
“If they show signs of a heat injury, such as increased body temperature, dry and red skin, rapid heartbeat, headache, nausea, vomiting, delirium or cramps, they should immediately leave the high-temperature work environment and try to cool down by loosening their clothes and wiping their body with wet towels, Lo said.
“They should also drink slightly salted water or sports drinks. If there is still no sign of improvement, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible,” she said.
HPA Director-General Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) said that employers can consult the heat-injury prevention Web site built by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the Ministry of Labor to check the level of heat injury risk in their area.
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